American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The now illegal act or practice of a Hindu widow's cremating herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to fulfill her true role as wife.
- n. A widow who commits such an act.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A Hindu widow who immolates herself on the funeral pile, either with the body of her husband, or separately if he died at a distance.
- n. The voluntary self-immolation of Hindu widows on the funeral pile of their husbands according to a Brahmanical rite. The custom is not known or commanded in the most ancient sacred books of the Hindus, but is early spoken of as highly meritorious. The practice is now abolished in British India, and is all but extinct in the native states.
- n. The custom and/or act of a Hindu woman giving herself up to be cremated on her husband’s funeral pyre as a sign of her devotion to her late spouse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. India A Hindoo widow who immolates herself, or is immolated, on the funeral pile of her husband; -- so called because this act of self-immolation is regarded as envincing excellence of wifely character.
- n. India The act of burning a widow on the funeral pile of her husband.
- n. the act of a Hindu widow willingly cremating herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband
- From Sanskrit सती (satī́, "good and virtuous or faithful wife"), from सत् (sát, "true, good, right etc."). In English usage since 1786. (Wiktionary)
- Sanskrit satī, virtuous woman, suttee, from feminine present participle of asti, s-, she is, is true. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Another gem from this Steyn book: In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands.”
“You might consider India and the outlawed 'suttee', where a widow would climb on the funeral pyre of her dead husband.”
“They have been spoonfed lies and distortions about the British Empire, so that they bleat about how ashamed they are of it, forgetting that for all its faults it gave parliamentary democracy to the world (or tried to), and abolished excesses such as suttee and thuggee.”
“I challenge you to study why "suttee" was outlawedby theState of Indiaafter 1900, and why some Hindus still practicesuttee secretly in India today.”
“The best known case of widow slaying is of course the custom of "suttee" in India.”
“The British government forbade "suttee," as widow burning was called, and although we hear that it is still practiced occasionally in remote parts of the empire, such an act would be punished as murder if the police were to learn of it.”
“When one thinks of the atrocious crimes, upheld by religious sanctions, such as suttee and infanticide, which we have put down in the face of determined opposition and even threats of rebellion from the most honoured classes of the community, it is strange to be told that "before we went the people were religious, chaste, sober, compassionate towards the helpless, and patient under suffering," and that we have corrupted them.”
“So was suttee, the tradition in India of widows throwing themselves on their husbands' funeral pyres.”
“The Macedonians heard tales that the Cathaean widows were encouraged rather forcefully to burn themselves alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands, a suttee ritual reportedly initiated after one local woman poisoned her husband.”
“Fogg rescues Aouda, the young widow of one of the rajahs of Bundelcund, from death by suttee, at the "pagoda of Pillaji", which again seems to be fictional.”
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