What does sacrifice mean?

Definitions for sacrifice
ˈsæk rəˌfaɪssac·ri·fice

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sacrifice.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. forfeit, forfeiture, sacrificenoun

    the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.

  2. sacrificenoun

    personnel that are sacrificed (e.g., surrendered or lost in order to gain an objective)

  3. sacrificenoun

    a loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value

    "he had to sell his car at a considerable sacrifice"

  4. sacrifice, ritual killingnoun

    the act of killing (an animal or person) in order to propitiate a deity

  5. sacrificeverb

    (baseball) an out that advances the base runners

  6. sacrifice, giveverb

    endure the loss of

    "He gave his life for his children"; "I gave two sons to the war"

  7. sacrificeverb

    kill or destroy

    "The animals were sacrificed after the experiment"; "The general had to sacrifice several soldiers to save the regiment"

  8. sacrificeverb

    sell at a loss

  9. sacrificeverb

    make a sacrifice of; in religious rituals


  1. sacrificenoun

    Something sacrificed.

  2. sacrificenoun

    A play in which the batter is intentionally out in order that runners can advance around the bases.

  3. sacrificeverb

    To offer (something) as a gift to a deity.

  4. sacrificeverb

    To give away (something valuable) to get at least a possibility to gain something else of value (such as self-respect, trust, love, freedom, prosperity), or to avoid an even greater loss.

  5. sacrificeverb

    To trade (a value of higher worth) for one of lesser worth in order to gain something else valued more such as an ally or business relationship or to avoid an even greater loss; to sell without profit to gain something other than money.

  6. sacrificeverb

    To intentionally give up (a piece) in order to improve one's position on the board.

  7. sacrificeverb

    To advance (a runner on base) by batting the ball so it can be caught or fielded, placing the batter out, but with insufficient time to put the runner out.

  8. Etymology: From sacrificium, from sacrifico, from sacer, + facio.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sacrificenoun

    Etymology: sacrifice, French; sacrificium, Latin.

    God will ordain religious rites
    Of sacrifice. John Milton.

    Upon such sacrifice
    The gods themselves throw incense. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Go with me like good angels to my end,
    And as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
    Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
    And lift my soul to heav’n. William Shakespeare.

    Moloch besmear’d with blood
    Of human sacrifice. John Milton.

    My life if thou preserv’st, my life
    Thy sacrifice shall be;
    And death, if death must be my doom,
    Shall join my soul to thee. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

  2. To SACRIFICEverb

    Etymology: sacrifier, French; sacrifico, Latin.

    Alarbus’ limbs are lopt,
    And intrails feed the sacrificing fire. William Shakespeare, Titus Andron.

    This blood, like sacrificing Abel’s, cries
    To me for justice. William Shakespeare, Richard II.

    I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males. Ex. xiii. 15.

    Men from the herd or flock
    Of sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid. John Milton.

    ’Tis a sad contemplation, that we should sacrifice the peace of the church to a little vain curiosity. Decay of Piety.

    The breach of this rule, To do as one would be done to, would be contrary to that interest men sacrifice to when they break it. John Locke.

    Syphax loves you, and would sacrifice
    His life, nay more, his honour, in your service. Addison.

    A great genius sometimes sacrifices sound to sense. William Broome.

    Condemn’d to sacrifice his childish years
    To babbling ign’rance, and to empty fears. Matthew Prior.

  3. To Sacrificeverb

    To make offerings; to offer sacrifice.

    He that sacrificeth of things wrongfully gotten, his offering is ridiculous. Ecclus. xxxiv. 18.

    Let us go to sacrifice to the Lord. Ex. iii. 18.

    Some mischief is befallen
    To that meek man who well had sacrific’d. John Milton.


  1. Sacrifice

    Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly existed before that. Evidence of ritual human sacrifice can also be found back to at least pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica as well as in European civilizations. Varieties of ritual non-human sacrifices are practiced by numerous religions today.


  1. sacrifice

    Sacrifice is the act of giving up something valuable or important for the sake of other considerations, often for the benefit of others or to achieve a greater good. It can involve situations ranging from a personal decision to a religious ritual. The act of sacrifice often implies a degree of selflessness and altruism.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sacrificenoun

    the offering of anything to God, or to a god; consecratory rite

  2. Sacrificenoun

    anything consecrated and offered to God, or to a divinity; an immolated victim, or an offering of any kind, laid upon an altar, or otherwise presented in the way of religious thanksgiving, atonement, or conciliation

  3. Sacrificenoun

    destruction or surrender of anything for the sake of something else; devotion of some desirable object in behalf of a higher object, or to a claim deemed more pressing; hence, also, the thing so devoted or given up; as, the sacrifice of interest to pleasure, or of pleasure to interest

  4. Sacrificenoun

    a sale at a price less than the cost or the actual value

  5. Sacrificenoun

    to make an offering of; to consecrate or present to a divinity by way of expiation or propitiation, or as a token acknowledgment or thanksgiving; to immolate on the altar of God, in order to atone for sin, to procure favor, or to express thankfulness; as, to sacrifice an ox or a sheep

  6. Sacrificenoun

    hence, to destroy, surrender, or suffer to be lost, for the sake of obtaining something; to give up in favor of a higher or more imperative object or duty; to devote, with loss or suffering

  7. Sacrificenoun

    to destroy; to kill

  8. Sacrificenoun

    to sell at a price less than the cost or the actual value

  9. Sacrificeverb

    to make offerings to God, or to a deity, of things consumed on the altar; to offer sacrifice

  10. Etymology: [OE. sacrifise, sacrifice, F. sacrifice, fr. L. sacrificium; sacer sacred + facere to make. See Sacred, and Fact.]


  1. Sacrifice

    Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals to a higher purpose, in particular divine beings, as an act of propitiation or worship. While sacrifice often implies ritual killing, the term offering can be used for bloodless sacrifices of cereal food or artifacts. For offerings of liquids by pouring, the term libation is used.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sacrifice

    sak′ri-fīs, v.t. to offer up, esp. on the altar of a divinity: to destroy or give up for something else: to devote or destroy with loss or suffering: to kill.—v.i. to make offerings to God.—n. the fundamental institution of all natural religions, primarily a sacramental meal at which the communicants are a deity and his worshippers, and the elements the flesh and blood of a sacred victim: the act of sacrificing or offering to a deity, esp. a victim on an altar: that which is sacrificed or offered: destruction or loss of anything to gain some object: that which is given up, destroyed, or lost for some end: mere loss of profit.—n. Sacrif′icant, one who offers a sacrifice.—adj. Sacrif′icātory, offering sacrifice.—n. Sac′rificer, a priest.—adj. Sacrifi′cial, relating to, or consisting in, sacrifice: performing sacrifice.—adv. Sacrifi′cially.—Sacrifice hit, in base-ball, a hit to enable another player to score or to gain a base.—Eucharistic sacrifice, the supposed constant renewal of the sacrifice of Christ in the mass. [O. Fr.,—L. sacrificiumsacer, sacred, facĕre, to make.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Sacrifice

    anything of value given away to secure the possession of something of still higher value, and which is the greater and more meritorious the costlier the gift.

Suggested Resources

  1. sacrifice

    Song lyrics by sacrifice -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by sacrifice on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sacrifice' in Nouns Frequency: #2815

How to pronounce sacrifice?

How to say sacrifice in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sacrifice in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sacrifice in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of sacrifice in a Sentence

  1. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera:

    To me, it’s a very personal thing because of my dad, his military background, knowing that his family and my mom’s family served in the military, my view is [ the anthem ] is about honoring the people that served and made the commitment to our country, some who even made the ultimate sacrifice. When I stand, that's what I'm standing for. I'm standing for the people that came before my father and the people that came after him.

  2. Fox News:

    The seas of blue that showed from all over the country told the story that these were two heroes that are well, well respected, and even in their death, for the job that they did for the members of their community. And the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for their community.

  3. Barack Obama:

    On this day we honor the sacrifice of thousands of American service members -- men and women who gave their lives since 9/11, including more than 2,200 American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

  4. Bill Clinton:

    It is a good way to remember our veterans and particularly those who gave their lives or were grievously injured, this is a way of demonstrating that they are not forgotten and we are going to continue doing everything we can to make sure we honor their sacrifice and commitment.

  5. Ildefonso Guajardo:

    We're not going to sacrifice the quality of an agreement because of pressure of time. We'll keep engaged.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sacrifice

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"sacrifice." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sacrifice>.

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    given to or marked by the consumption of alcohol
    A irascible
    B bibulous
    C bonzer
    D lank

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