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verb (used with object), mor·ti·fied, mor·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to humiliate or shame, as by injury to one's pride or self-respect.
  2. to subjugate (the body, passions, etc.) by abstinence, ascetic discipline, or self-inflicted suffering.
  3. Pathology. to affect with gangrene or necrosis.
verb (used without object), mor·ti·fied, mor·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to practice mortification or disciplinary austerities.
  2. Pathology. to undergo mortification; become gangrened or necrosed.

Origin of mortify

1350–1400; Middle English mortifien < Middle French mortifier < Late Latin mortificāre “to put to death,” equivalent to Latin morti- (stem of mors) “death” + -ficāre -fy
Related formsmor·ti·fied·ly, adverbmor·ti·fi·er, nounmor·ti·fy·ing·ly, adverbpre·mor·ti·fy, verb (used with object), pre·mor·ti·fied, pre·mor·ti·fy·ing.un·mor·ti·fied, adjective

Synonyms for mortify

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Synonym study

1. See ashamed. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mortified


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. (tr) to humiliate or cause to feel shame
  2. (tr) Christianity to subdue and bring under control by self-denial, disciplinary exercises, etc
  3. (intr) to undergo tissue death or become gangrenous
Derived Formsmortifier, nounmortifying, adjectivemortifyingly, adverb

Word Origin for mortify

C14: via Old French from Church Latin mortificāre to put to death, from Latin mors death + facere to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mortified

"deeply humiliated," 1717, past participle adjective from mortify.



late 14c., "to kill," from Old French mortefiier "destroy, overwhelm, punish," from Late Latin mortificare "cause death, kill, put to death," literally "make dead," from mortificus "producing death," from Latin mors (genitive mortis) "death" (see mortal (adj.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Religious sense of "to subdue the flesh by abstinence and discipline" first attested early 15c. Sense of "humiliate" first recorded 1690s (cf. mortification). Related: Mortified; mortifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mortified in Medicine


  1. To undergo mortification; to become gangrenous or to necrotize.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.