from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Devotion or dedication of oneself, especially to a service or ideal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of devoting one's self; willingness to sacrifice one's own interests or happiness for the sake of others; self-sacrifice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of devoting one's self, or the state of being self-devoted; willingness to sacrifice one's own advantage or happiness for the sake of others; self-sacrifice.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • That first meeting of a knot of enthusiasts, at Niagara Falls, had all the earnestness of self-devotion.


  • How he regretted his abnegation and his folly in having brought Cosette back into the world, poor hero of sacrifice, seized and hurled to the earth by his very self-devotion!

    Les Miserables

  • They all of them bear strong traces of that deliberate courage without effort or ostentation, which distinguished his whole conduct; and his letter to Lord Camden breathes a generous spirit of self-devotion, highly expressive of the character and feelings of the writer.

    The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa, in the Year 1805

  • Abbot; who, retaining the lofty and undismayed look which had dignified him through the whole ceremony, stood on the higher step of the altar, as if desirous to be the most conspicuous mark on which danger might discharge itself, and to save his companions by his self-devotion, since he could afford them no other protection.

    The Abbot

  • This act of self-devotion he conceived to be due to his own honour and that of his countrymen.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Fauchelevent did not recoil in the face of this almost chimerical undertaking; this poor peasant of Picardy without any other ladder than his self-devotion, his good will, and a little of that old rustic cunning, on this occasion enlisted in the service of a generous enterprise, undertook to scale the difficulties of the cloister, and the steep escarpments of the rule of Saint – Benoit.

    Les Miserables

  • He recognized the fact that one of these ideas was, necessarily, good, while the other might become bad; that the first was self-devotion, and that the other was personality; that the one said, my neighbor, and that the other said, myself; that one emanated from the light, and the other from darkness.

    Les Miserables

  • When I saw men and spoke to them, I lightened up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts ....

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Oftener than is the case with other races, is she in the humor for self-devotion and sacrifice.

    Les Miserables

  • Of the strong, undeviating attachment of the Highlanders to the person, and their deference to the will or commands of their chiefs and superiors — their rigid adherence to duty and principle — and their chivalrous acts of self-devotion to these in the face of danger and death, there are many instances recorded in General Stewart of

    Chronicles of the Canongate


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