- To mortify is to shame or humiliate, or to practice self-denial.
- When you make a fool of someone in public and embarrass him, this is an example of a time when you mortify him.
- When you deny yourself a special pleasure as part of a religious fast, this is an example of a way to mortify yourself.
transitive verbmortified, mortifying
- to punish (one's body) or control (one's physical desires and passions) by self-denial, fasting, etc., as a means of religious or ascetic discipline
- to cause to feel shame, humiliation, chagrin, etc.; injure the pride or self-respect of
- Now Rare to cause (body tissue) to decay or become gangrenous
- to destroy the vitality or vigor of
Origin of mortifyMiddle English mortifien ; from Old French mortifier ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin mortificare, to kill, destroy ; from Classical Latin mors, death (see mortal) + facere, to make, do
- to practice mortification (sense )
- Now Rare to decay or become gangrenous
verbmor·ti·fied, mor·ti·fy·ing, mor·ti·fies
- To cause to experience shame, humiliation, or wounded pride.
- To discipline (one's of the body and the appetites) by self-denial or self-inflicted privation, especially for religious reasons.
- To practice mortification of the body and its appetites.
- To undergo mortification; become gangrenous.
Origin of mortifyMiddle English mortifien, to deaden, subdue, from Old French mortifier, from Latin mortificāre, to kill : mors, mort-, death; see mer- in Indo-European roots + -ficāre, -fy.
(third-person singular simple present mortifies, present participle mortifying, simple past and past participle mortified)
- He mortified pearls in vinegar.
- To discipline (one's body, appetites etc.) by suppressing desires; to practise abstinence on. [from 15th c.]
- Some people seek sainthood by mortifying the body.
- (usually used passively) To embarrass, to humiliate. [from 17th c.]
- I was so mortified I could have died right there, instead I fainted, but I swore I'd never let that happen to me again.
- How often is the ambitious man mortified with the very praises he receives, if they do not rise so high as he thinks they ought!
- (Scotland, law, historical) To grant in mortmain