Definition of sati in English:


(also suttee)


  • 1A former practice in India whereby a widow threw herself onto her husband's funeral pyre.

    • ‘Foot binding, male preference, early marriage, virginity tests, dowry deaths, sati, female infanticide and malnutrition are among the many practices which violate a woman's human rights.’
    • ‘In general, Hindu practices, and sati in particular, are repeatedly characterized as demonic in a manner similar to European witchcraft.’
    • ‘As such, the campaigns against thuggee and suttee frequently cropped up in imperial apologetics.’
    • ‘Thus, there is no command either in Ramayana or in Gita to commit suttee.’
    • ‘A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband's funeral pyre.’
    • ‘A society that does not shudder in shame to hear cases of sati, female infanticide and foeticide, and bride burning for dowry can hardly be expected to react to cases of rape.’
    • ‘Our guide told us they belonged to women who once lived in the fort, and left their hand prints on their way to sati.’
    • ‘First-wave feminists also maintained a wounded attachment to sati to justify their need to be partners in the Empire as civilising agents.’
    • ‘Buildings and people of various races and degrees, modes of transport on sea and land, local beliefs and customs such as sati are portrayed with commendable attention to realistic detail.’
    • ‘Roy used the philosophical ideas found in the earliest Hindu scriptures to criticize the polytheism and some of the practices of popular Hinduism, such as sati.’
    • ‘Historical tales suggested that a woman attained both the power to give a curse and to confer a blessing in the period between her vow of sati and her death.’
    • ‘What about suttee in India, a traditional practice abolished by the British colonialists?’
    • ‘Gordon rescues a young bride, Jwala, from the banned practice of suttee - a bride immolating herself with her dead husband.’
    • ‘Cecil Adams points out that some Hindus, including women, argue that suttee should be allowed because it's an integral part of their tradition.’
    • ‘In the account of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, there is no mention of his liberal social policies, his prohibition of the slave trade and of involuntary sati.’
    • ‘To explain the weakness of such a position I used to ask them whether the British authorities in India were justified in banning the practice of suttee, where a widow was immolated on the funeral pyre of her husband.’
    • ‘Religious edicts have underpinned suicide bombings, amputations, female infanticide and genital mutilation, and the practice of suttee.’
    • ‘This powerful period melodrama is set in the early years of the 19th century, right before the practice of sati was outlawed.’
    • ‘Women who practiced this act of sati were revered as saints and stone sati memorials exist in Rajasthan.’
    • ‘Though both are derived from the low social value of women, bride burning needs to be distinguished from sati, or, widow burning.’
    • ‘Her grandmother was widowed and they burned her alive in suttee, a Hindu practice the British stopped.’
    • ‘India haters highlighted everything bad about the country: sati, bride burning, human and animal sacrifices, etc.’
    self-destruction, taking one's own life, self-murder, self-slaughter, felo de se
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A widow who committed sati.
      • ‘Instances abound in our social, political and cultural history where nation mothers, Partition victims, satis or even simple housewives tend to stimulate a role-playing among men to become protectors, devotees and wage earners.’
      • ‘There is another traditional verse celebrating five satis, chaste wives: Sati, Sita, Savitri, Damayanti and Arundhati.’
      • ‘The sati is the epitome of the obedient wife, but her burning is irredeemably barbaric.’
      • ‘Such a move enables a second shift, namely, the shift from viewing the sati as victim, to viewing her as active bearer of a particular, context-specific, subjectivity.’


Hindi, from Sanskrit satī faithful wife from sat good.

Definition of Sati in English:


proper noun

  • The wife of Shiva, reborn as Parvati. According to some accounts, she died by throwing herself into the sacred fire.