Definition of martyrdom in English:



  • 1The death or suffering of a martyr.

    • ‘What does the Bible tell us about the ministry, martyrdom, resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses?’
    • ‘His martyrdom is the first - and only one - among the Apostles to be recorded in Scripture.’
    • ‘Throughout the entire span of their eventful history, they have struggled and fought for universal causes and have courted martyrdoms to uphold the values of truth, justice and freedom.’
    • ‘In each apostle portrait, each man holds the symbol of his martyrdom.’
    • ‘The persecutions and martyrdoms seemed to have solidified the believers' faith.’
    • ‘His first encounter with the Stations of the Cross set him howling with fright in church; his compulsory bedtime reading as a child was stories of Christian saints and their martyrdoms.’
    • ‘An extraordinary letter was written by the prior of the monastery two years before his martyrdom.’
    • ‘So the following years brought further opposition and persecution, and even martyrdom, to evangelical missionaries in Mexico.’
    • ‘They are the words of the martyrs, martyrdom being the frequent fate of prophets.’
    • ‘Christianity in the first three centuries was a religion of martyrdom.’
    • ‘Most notable to European eyes at this time was their religious fanaticism and willingness to seek martyrdom through death in battle.’
    • ‘A tragedian, Rubens loved to depict battles, atrocities, martyrdoms and slaughters.’
    • ‘In mentioning martyrdom of course, the question of religion comes up.’
    • ‘We are reminded, for example, that belief in the resurrection of the dead is not an essential feature of the Jewish Bible but a view that developed primarily in response to the martyrdoms of the Maccabean revolt.’
    • ‘History is full of their bloody exploits, conquests, sacrifices and martyrdoms.’
    • ‘Obedience, suffering, and martyrdom are also the theme of Jesus' words in John 12.’
    • ‘The missionary Jesuit order developed a speciality in clinical depictions of torturous martyrdoms.’
    • ‘As of this modern age these acts of martyrdoms are regarded as legends but they are based on historical facts and foundation.’
    • ‘His characters lived and understood themselves in a fallen world where martyrdom was often the cost of salvation.’
    • ‘Reports of martyrdoms steeled resistance to persecution and were the source of encouragement to persevere.’
    death, suffering, torture, torment, agony, persecution, ordeal, anguish
    killing, putting to death, martyrization, sacrifice, crucifixion, immolation, burning, burning at the stake
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A display of feigned or exaggerated suffering to obtain sympathy or admiration.
      • ‘He does so with an air of martyrdom about him, the selfish man.’
      • ‘They're self-righteous librarians drunk on the power of process and convinced of the virtue of martyrdom.’
      • ‘Being neutral toward the mother/father (without a show of martyrdom) is better for the children that seeing you in conflict, surely.’
      • ‘Rolling his eyes, he moved to join Max in his excavations, sighing in exaggerated martyrdom.’
      • ‘How could I refuse such an impressive display of martyrdom?’


Old English martyrdōm (see martyr, -dom).