• synonyms


[self-sak-ruh-fahys, self-]
  1. sacrifice of one's interests, desires, etc., as for duty or the good of another.
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Origin of self-sacrifice

First recorded in 1795–1805
Related formsself-sac·ri·fic·er, nounself-sac·ri·fi·cial [self-sak-ruh-fish-uh l, self-] /ˈsɛlfˌsæk rəˈfɪʃ əl, ˌsɛlf-/, adjectiveself-sac·ri·fic·ing, adjectiveself-sac·ri·fic·ing·ly, adverbself-sac·ri·fic·ing·ness, nounun·self-sac·ri·fi·cial, adjectiveun·self-sac·ri·fi·cial·ly, adverbun·self-sac·ri·fic·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-sacrificial

Historical Examples

  • Mrs. Starkweather drooped her mouth, and raised her brows, with a sigh of extreme and most self-sacrificial virtue.

    Stories of the Foot-hills

    Margaret Collier Graham

  • He is terribly sane and luminous, and terribly wanting in self-sacrificial enthusiasm.

  • Poor man, deluded, self-sacrificial traveler, illy-advised adventurer!

    Stanley in Africa

    James P. Boyd

  • But the young woman with a self-sacrificial career in view had lost none of her womanly gift of sympathetic intuition.

British Dictionary definitions for self-sacrificial


  1. the sacrifice of one's own desires, interest, etc, for the sake of duty or for the well-being of others
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Derived Formsself-sacrificing, adjectiveself-sacrificingly, adverb
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 self-sacrificial



1805, from self- + sacrifice (n.). Adjective self-sacrific'd attested from 1711. Related: self-sacrificing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper