from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cause to experience shame, humiliation, or wounded pride; humiliate.
- transitive v. To discipline (one's body and physical appetites) by self-denial or self-inflicted privation.
- intransitive v. To practice ascetic discipline or self-denial of the body and its appetites.
- intransitive v. Pathology To undergo mortification; become gangrenous or necrosed.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To destroy the organic texture and vital functions of; to produce gangrene in.
- transitive v. To destroy the active powers or essential qualities of; to change by chemical action.
- transitive v. To deaden by religious or other discipline, as the carnal affections, bodily appetites, or worldly desires; to bring into subjection; to abase; to humble.
- transitive v. To affect with vexation, chagrin; to depress.
- transitive v. To humiliate deeply, especially by injuring the pride of; to embarrass painfully; to humble.
- intransitive v. To lose vitality and organic structure, as flesh of a living body; to gangrene.
- intransitive v. To practice penance from religious motives; to deaden desires by religious discipline.
- intransitive v. To be subdued; to decay, as appetites, desires, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To destroy the life of; destroy the vitality of (a part of a living body); affect with gangrene.
- To deaden; render insensible; make apathetic.
- To reduce in strength or force; weaken.
- To subdue, restrain, reduce, or bring into subjection by abstinence or rigorous severities; bring under subjection by ascetic discipline or regimen; subject or restrain in any way, for moral or religious reasons.
- To humiliate; depress; affect with vexation or chagrin.
- In chem. and metallurgy, to destroy or diminish the active powers or characteristic qualities of.
- In Scots law, to dispose of by mortification. See mortification, 3.
- Synonyms To shame, chagrin. See mortification.
- To lose vitality and organic structure while yet a portion of the living body; become gangrenous.
- To become languid; fall into decay.
- To be subdued; die away: said of inordinate appetites, etc.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. hold within limits and control
- v. undergo necrosis
- v. practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
- v. cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
Middle 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.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman mortifier, Middle French mortifier, from Late Latin mortificō ("cause death"), from Latin mors ("death") + -ficō ("-fy"). (Wiktionary)