- 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.
- 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 of martyrMiddle 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
- 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.
transitive verbmar·tyred, mar·tyr·ing, mar·tyrs
- To make a martyr of, especially to put to death for devotion to religious beliefs.
- To inflict great pain on; torment.
Origin of martyrMiddle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Late Greek martur, from Greek martus, martur-, witness.
- One who willingly accepts being put to death for adhering openly to one's religious beliefs; notably, saints canonized after martyrdom.
- Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr.
- (by extension) One who sacrifices his or her life, station, or something of great personal value, for the sake of principle or to sustain a cause.
- (with a prepositional phrase of cause) One who suffers greatly and/or constantly, even involuntarily.
- Stan is a martyr to arthritis, Chris a martyr to Stan's endless moaning about it.
- One who is killed or suffers greatly because of an identity or position, e.g., a young prince killed when his father, the king, is deposed for the purpose of preventing the restoration of the monarchy later.
(third-person singular simple present martyrs, present participle martyring, simple past and past participle martyred)
- To make someone into a martyr by putting him or her to death for adhering to, or acting in accordance with, some belief, especially religious; to sacrifice on account of faith or profession.
- To persecute.
- Some religious and other minorities were martyred until extinction.
- To torment; to torture.
- The lovely Amoret, whose gentle heart
- Thou martyrest with sorrow and with smart. — Spenser