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martyrology Line breaks: mar¦tyr|ology
Pronunciation: /mɑːtəˈrɒlədʒi/

Definition of martyrology in English:

noun (plural martyrologies)

[mass noun]
1The branch of history that deals with the lives of martyrs.
Example sentences
  • With the way cleared for a sympathetic reading of the phenomenon of martyrology, Gregory next explores the historical context and theological landscape that shaped the complex of martyrs.
  • This is an indication of how nineteenth-century nationalist martyrology diffused throughout Ireland and was integrated into local tradition.
  • That would have been sufficient to ensure for him at least a significant status in nationalist martyrology, but hardly the ‘godlike’ status of legend.
1.1 [count noun] A list of martyrs.
Example sentences
  • This transformation demonstrates both the fluid nature of ‘memory’ and the ability of martyrologies to conform to the social needs of the moment.
  • On the Catholic side, in the mid-seventeenth century, groups of church scholars known as the Bollandists and Maurists compiled ecclesiastical histories and martyrologies, such as the monumental Acta Sanctorum (Lives of the Saints).
  • The feast of St Barbara is celebrated by the Greek and Roman calendars on 4 December; the 9th-century martyrologies cite 16 December which is the traditional English date for the festival.


Pronunciation: /mɑːtərəˈlɒdʒɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Their disagreements proved central to the formation of the three principal mutually exclusive martyrological traditions.
  • Their theology conditioned them to accept the high level of martyrdom this group endured; the victims were considered the leading edge of a community defined by its collective martyrological sensibility.
  • In the ‘Nativitie of Christ’ the mysteries of the Incarnation lead into a polemical defense of the doctrine of transubstantiation, which in turn transforms into a martyrological call to accept the host - and to imitate Christ.
Example sentences
  • To John Foxe, the martyrologist, he was a hero; Bishop Jewel quoted Erasmus, all of whose works he was said to have read at Oxford; and Thomas Cooper regarded him as a singular instrument to begin the Reformation.
  • The martyrologist, was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, and was educated at Oxford, where he became a fellow of Magdalen College but resigned his fellowship in 1545, being unwilling to conform to the statutes in religious matters.
  • In Edward VI's reign, he was tutored by John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, but at Mary's accession a catholic bishop took over.


Late 16th century: via medieval Latin from ecclesiastical Greek marturologion, from martur 'martyr' + logos 'account'.

Definition of martyrology in:
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