synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of sacrifice in English

English Online Dictionary. What means sacrifice‎? What does sacrifice mean?



From Middle English sacrificen (verb) and sacrifice (noun), from Old French sacrifice, from Latin sacrificium (sacrifice), from sacrificō (make or offer a sacrifice), from sacer (sacred, holy) + faciō (do, make).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsækɹɪfaɪs/, (now rare or poetic) /ˈsækɹɪfaɪz/
  • Hyphenation: sac‧ri‧fice


sacrifice (third-person singular simple present sacrifices, present participle sacrificing, simple past and past participle sacrificed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To offer (something) as a gift to a deity.
  2. (transitive) To give away (something valuable) to get at least a possibility of gaining something else of value (such as self-respect, trust, love, freedom, prosperity), or to avoid an even greater loss.
    • “God sacrificed His only begotten Son, so that all people might have eternal life.” (a paraphrase of John 3:16)
    • Condemned to sacrifice his childish years / To babbling ignorance, and to empty fears.
  3. (transitive) To trade (a value of higher worth) for something of lesser worth in order to gain something else valued more, such as an ally or business relationship, or to avoid an even greater loss; to sell without profit to gain something other than money.
  4. (transitive, chess) To intentionally give up (a piece) in order to improve one’s position on the board.
  5. (transitive, baseball) To advance (a runner on base) by batting the ball so it can be fielded, placing the batter out, but with insufficient time to put the runner out.
  6. (dated, tradesmen's slang) To sell at a price less than the cost or actual value.
  7. To destroy; to kill.
  8. (medicine) To kill a test animal for autopsy.


  • (to offer to a deity): Molochize
  • (to sell without profit): sell at a loss

Derived terms

  • sacrificial



sacrifice (countable and uncountable, plural sacrifices)

  1. The offering of anything to a god; a consecratory rite.
  2. The destruction or surrender of anything for the sake of something else; the devotion of something desirable to something higher, or to a calling deemed more pressing.
    the sacrifice of one's spare time in order to volunteer
    1. (baseball) A play in which the batter is intentionally out so that one or more runners can advance around the bases.
  3. Something sacrificed.
  4. A loss of profit.
  5. (slang, dated) A sale at a price less than the cost or the actual value.





Borrowed from Latin sacrificium.


  • IPA(key): /sa.kʁi.fis/
  • Rhymes: -is


sacrifice m (plural sacrifices)

  1. sacrifice

Related terms

  • sacrificiel
  • sacrifier

Further reading

  • “sacrifice”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.




  1. vocative masculine singular of sacrificus



  • IPA(key): [saˈkrifit͡ʃe]



  1. third-person singular/plural present subjunctive of sacrifica

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.