Definition of mortify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmôrdəˌfī/

verb (mortifies, mortifying, mortified)

[with object]
1Cause (someone) to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated: [with object]: she was mortified to see her wrinkles in the mirror (as adjective mortifying) she refused to accept this mortifying disgrace
More example sentences
  • I was totally mortified, wondering what people thought was happening in there!
  • Grandma once told me I mortified my mother by saying, ‘I always love coming to Grandma's because it's so clean.’
  • Teacher Jane Norton said: ‘The poor girl who was looking after him was mortified.’
embarrass, humiliate, chagrin, discomfit, shame, abash, horrify, appall
2Subdue (the body or its needs and desires) by self-denial or discipline: return to heaven by mortifying the flesh
More example sentences
  • It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without.
  • People who mortify the body in some way will always command a voyeuristic interest.
  • If there is no more posting for a few hours, it will be because the Professor is mortifying the flesh with whips, chains and other penitent aids.
subdue, suppress, subjugate, control;
discipline, chasten, punish
3 [no object] archaic (Of flesh) be affected by gangrene or necrosis: the cut in Henry’s arm had mortified
More example sentences
  • He received a cut of the thumb, was afterwards made an out-patient of the infirmary, but the wound mortified, produced lock-jaw, and death ensued.
  • The wound mortified and caused his death on 14 November 1804.



Pronunciation: /ˈmôrdəˌfīiNGlē/
Example sentences
  • The offensive ended, mortifyingly for the marines, in a decision to pull back from both cities.
  • The Daily Telegraph's critic carried on in similar vein, describing the show as ‘one of the most mortifyingly embarrassing I have ever witnessed’.
  • Someone was about to get mortifyingly humiliated.


Late Middle English (in the senses 'put to death', 'deaden', and 'subdue by self-denial'): from Old French mortifier, from ecclesiastical Latin mortificare 'kill, subdue', from mors, mort- 'death'.

Words that rhyme with mortify


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mor·ti·fy

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