from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state of being a martyr.
  • n. The suffering of death by a martyr.
  • n. Extreme suffering of any kind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The condition of a martyr; the death of a martyr; the suffering of death on account of adherence to the Christian faith, or to any cause.
  • n. Affliction; torment; torture.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The condition of a martyr; the death of a martyr; the suffering of death on account of adherence to the Christian faith, or to any cause.
  • n. Affliction; torment; torture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being a martyr; the death or sufferings of a martyr; the suffering of death or persecution for the sake of one's faith or belief.
  • n. A state of suffering for any cause; persecution; affliction; torment: as, tight lacing is a fashionable martyrdom.
  • n. Destruction; slaughter; havoc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any experience that causes intense suffering
  • n. death that is imposed because of the person's adherence of a religious faith or cause


martyr +‎ -dom (Wiktionary)


  • The use of the word martyrdom often confuses the issue, but the sentiment is not unlike that of a soldier mourning a dead platoon mate, or a mother making sense of the death of her child in a war that she considers honorable.

    A Privilege to Die

  • I'm not sure whether martyrdom is all the rage now - perhaps in some cases self inflicted victimhood?

    Is This the Best Ever Photo of The Queen?

  • Unlike the Western world, where we love life, the Islamic fanatics love death, what they refer to as martyrdom, killing the infidel?

    Common Sense

  • Also according to this memo they say that many of the homes that have been raided by police here in London and also in Birmingham to the north, they found what they call martyrdom videos, those videos are usually made just a day or two beforehand.

    CNN Transcript Aug 12, 2006

  • The traditional spot of the martyrdom is the Tre Fontane, not far from the Basilica [Conybeare and Howson].

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Zazi said the three men agreed to join in three coordinated suicide bombings on Manhattan lines during rush hour near the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks - what he called a "martyrdom operation."

    The Seattle Times

  • He returned from Pakistan to his family's home in Colorado to cook up homemade bombs in a hotel room in suburban Denver before driving to New York City in September 2009 for what he described as a "martyrdom operation" that was foiled by the FBI.

  • Former classmates and colleagues described him as unremarkable and easy to forget, qualities, perhaps inborn, that he cultivated - consciously, he would say - to mask his dedication to what he called his "martyrdom operation."

    NYT > Home Page

  • I still have a somewhat complicated relationship with her icon because having a female mathematician classically famous mostly for her secular martyrdom is still better than having no classically famous female mathematicians at all and, really, at the time, when I was little, it was encouraging to know that at least a female mathematician could exist.

    24th March '09

  • No one cares if bin Laden merely thinks martyrdom is swell; we care when he uses that belief to convince others to fly planes into our buildings.

    Organizing the Non-Chess-Players Club


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