- The definition of a martyr is a person who is killed because of his beliefs (especially religious beliefs), or a person who exaggerates his sacrifice to get sympathy.
- A religious person who refuses to deny his religion and is killed for it is an example of amartyr.
- A person who takes care of his aging parents but who makes sure everyone knows just how difficult it is is an example of amartyr.
martyr definition by Webster's New World
- any of those persons who choose to suffer or die rather than give up their faith or principles
- any person tortured or killed because of his or her beliefs
- a person who suffers great pain or misery for a long time
- a person who assumes an attitude of self-sacrifice or suffering in order to arouse feelings of pity, guilt, etc. in others
Origin: Middle English martir ; from Old English ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin ; from Classical Greek martyr, martys, a witness (LGr(Ec), martyr) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)mer-, to remember, care from source Classical Latin memor, mindful, Sanskrit smárati, (he) remembers
- to put to death or torture for adherence to a belief
- to torture; make suffer greatly; persecute
martyr definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles.
- One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.
- a. One who endures great suffering: a martyr to arthritis.b. One who makes a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy.
- To make a martyr of, especially to put to death for devotion to religious beliefs.
- To inflict great pain on; torment.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Late Greek martur, from Greek martus, martur-, witness.