1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles.
2. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.
a. One who endures great suffering: a martyr to arthritis.
b. One who makes a great show of suffering in order to arouse sympathy.
tr.v. mar·tyred, mar·tyr·ing, mar·tyrs
1. To make a martyr of, especially to put to death for devotion to religious beliefs.
2. To inflict great pain on; torment.
[Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Late Greek martur, from Greek martus, martur-, witness.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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