From Middle English sacrificen (verb) and sacrifice (noun), from Old French sacrifice, from Latin sacrificium (“sacrifice”), from sacrificō (“make or offer a sacrifice”), from sacer (“sacred, holy”) + faciō (“do, make”).
- (transitive, intransitive) To offer (something) as a gift to a deity.
- (transitive) To give away (something valuable) to get at least a possibility of gaining something else of value (such as self-respect, trust, love, freedom, prosperity), or to avoid an even greater loss.
- Venison has many advantages over meat from factory farms, although it still requires a hunter to sacrifice the life of a deer.
- 1960 February, R. C. Riley, “The London-Birmingham services - Past, Present and Future”, in Trains Illustrated, page 99:
- To do the job thoroughly sentiment must be ignored and it seems inevitable that the famous Great Hall and the Doric Arch will have to be sacrificed to progress.
- 1964, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Baby Don’t You Do It (Marvin Gaye)
- Don’t you break my heart / ’Cause I sacrifice to make you happy.
- “God sacrificed His only begotten Son, so that all people might have eternal life.” (a paraphrase of John 3:16)
- 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem in Three Books.”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: […] Jacob Tonson […], and John Barber […], OCLC 5634253, (please specify the page):
- Condemned to sacrifice his childish years / To babbling ignorance, and to empty fears.
- 1857, George Eliot, s:Scenes of Clerical Life
- The Baronet had sacrificed a large sum […] for the sake of […] making this boy his heir.
- (transitive) To trade (a value of higher worth) for something 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.
- (transitive, chess) To intentionally give up (a piece) in order to improve one’s position on the board.
- (transitive, baseball) To advance (a runner on base) by batting the ball so it can be fielded, placing the batter out, but with insufficient time to put the runner out.
- (dated, tradesmen's slang) To sell at a price less than the cost or actual value.
- To destroy; to kill.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- The offering of anything to a god; a consecratory rite.
- The destruction or surrender of anything for the sake of something else; the devotion of something desirable to something higher, or to a calling deemed more pressing.
- the sacrifice of one's spare time in order to volunteer
- Something sacrificed.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 392–393:
- Firſt Moloch, horrid King beſmear'd with blood / Of human ſacrifice, and parents tears,
- A loss of profit.
- (slang, dated) A sale at a price less than the cost or the actual value.
sacrifice m (plural sacrifices)
- “sacrifice” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).