verb (used with object), sac·ri·ficed, sac·ri·fic·ing.
verb (used without object), sac·ri·ficed, sac·ri·fic·ing.
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Origin of sacrifice
OTHER WORDS FROM sacrifice
Words nearby sacrifice
What does sacrifice mean?
A sacrifice is something important or precious that is given up for the sake of gaining something or allowing something to happen that is considered more important, as in I had to work hard and make a lot of sacrifices to achieve success.
The word can also refer to the habitual act of giving things up in this way, as in Achieving success requires hard work and sacrifice.
Sacrifice can also be used as a verb meaning to give something up in this way, as in I had to work hard and sacrifice to achieve success.
Sometimes, the word is used in situations involving surrendering something to prevent something bad from happening, as in She sacrificed herself to save us.
The word sacrifice is often used in the context of religion to refer to an offering or to the act of offering something to the god or gods being worshipped. Such a sacrifice might be an animal that is killed. The central figure of Christianity, Jesus, is viewed by Christians as having been a sacrifice for the sake of human salvation.
The adjective sacrificial is used to describe things that involve or are given as sacrifices.
Example: There is simply not enough money in the budget, so we’re all going to have to make sacrifices and give up some things that we’re used to having.
Where does sacrifice come from?
The first records of the word sacrifice come from the 1200s. It comes from the Latin sacrificium, from sacer, meaning “holy,” and facere, meaning “to make.” The root sacer is also the basis for words like sacred and sacrilege.
Sacrifice is always used in the context of giving something up for a higher purpose, whether that purpose is religious or not. The thing being sacrificed, even if precious, is considered less important than what giving it up can allow to happen. Synonyms of the verb sacrifice include surrender and forfeit. The verb phrase give up can mean the same thing but is more casual.
In chess, a player is said to sacrifice a piece when they allow it to be captured in order to gain an advantage. In baseball, the word sacrifice refers to a play that helps a baserunner to advance but that will (likely) result in an out for the batter, such as a sacrifice fly.
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What are some other forms related to sacrifice?
- sacrificial (adjective)
What are some synonyms for sacrifice?
What are some words that share a root or word element with sacrifice?
What are some words that often get used in discussing sacrifice?
How is sacrifice used in real life?
The word sacrifice can be used in many different contexts. In all cases, it involves offering or surrendering something for the purpose of a cause considered more important than the thing being given up.
Transformation requires a sacrifice, the new you will cost the old you.
— Azahel™ (@AzG888) February 9, 2021
Can we please stop framing societal failures as individualistic feel-good stories? Having to sacrifice your life savings to pay for leukemia treatment is bad, actually.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) February 10, 2021
My parents taught me that I have to make sacrifices if I wanted to be successful. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice, it’s only temporary. Success lasts forever.
— kdot (@kendriclindsey) July 19, 2020
Try using sacrifice!
Which of the following words is a synonym of sacrifice?
C. give up
D. all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for sacrifice
That’s sort of a betrayal in some ways, and it’s a sacrifice in other ways.How Gideon the Ninth author Tamsyn Muir queers the space opera|Constance Grady|February 5, 2021|Vox
The sacrifice of her freedom—she spent 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and 2010—and the force of her personality made the 2011 power-sharing deal possible.
Leiva, a 33-year member of UFCW Local 770, said the celebration of essential workers should come with recognition of their sacrifice, which is unevenly felt across racial groups.Essential workers get lost in the vaccine scrum as states prioritize the elderly|Lena H. Sun, Isaac Stanley-Becker, Akilah Johnson|February 1, 2021|Washington Post
This team environment here — or just basketball in general — it takes sacrifice and compromise.Kyrie Irving returns to Nets after seven-game absence, says he ‘just needed a pause’|Des Bieler|January 20, 2021|Washington Post
At the end of the game, which featured more sacrifices, Lubosh’s pawns just kept advancing until his opponent resigned.Lubomir Kavalek, international chess grandmaster, dies at 77|Emily Langer|January 20, 2021|Washington Post
The courage of this husband and father is a constant reminder of how much some sacrifice for exercising universal rights.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015|Movements.Org|December 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In fact, one the most sacred holiday for Muslims is the sacrifice of Abraham, known as Eid al-Adha.
They accepted the fact that their party would have to make deals and sacrifice priorities in 2015.
It was in Saint-Rémy where Van Gogh sends his brother word of how all his sacrifice may soon be for nothing in this life.Decoding Vincent Van Gogh’s Tempestuous, Fragile Mind|Nick Mafi|December 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They sacrifice their shelter to contain the walkers—and Judith gets her first action scene!The Walking Dead’s Midseason Finale Shocker: A Cherished Character Meets a Grisly End|Melissa Leon|December 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Your sacrifice shall be the agony of agonies, the death of deaths, and yet you'll find yourself unable to resist.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
I must aspire to the agitating transports of self-devotion, in scenes of sacrifice and peril!The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
I'd sacrifice myself willingly, if that would put things straight.Elster's Folly|Mrs. Henry Wood
"And she would sacrifice Him and all his archangels to an epigram," thought Isabel, who was somewhat shocked.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
She knew that the man's honor, his respect for his race and their struggle had brought him to commit the sacrifice.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux