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masochism Line breaks: maso|chism
Pronunciation: /ˈmasəkɪz(ə)m/

Definition of masochism in English:


[mass noun]
1The tendency to derive sexual gratification from one’s own pain or humiliation: with things such as bondage and masochism, it’s all right if you both go for it
More example sentences
  • His eyes widened as he read about sadism and masochism, bondage and domination.
  • There are different theories related to sexual masochism, many stemming from the psychoanalytic camp.
  • Though the pursuit of sexual ecstasy through pain is seen as masochism, as a perversion, Bataille argues that this is one example of liberation through surrender.
1.1(In general use) the enjoyment of an activity that appears to be painful or tedious: there’s plenty to do when the weather turns moorland walks into exercises in masochism
More example sentences
  • I always knew you had to be a bit of a sadist to cook - after all, you have to beat the eggs and whip the cream - but now cooking is an exercise in masochism as well.
  • Supporting the modern multiplex is an exercise in commercial masochism.
  • There is nothing quite like following Oasis as an exercise in masochism.



Example sentences
  • She was speaking to a gathering of 1000 masochists who gathered to listen to a speech on ‘Shakespeare and sexual difference.’
  • Media coverage, word of mouth, and that enclave of frustrated writers, the Internet, helped the number of dedicated literary masochists rise dramatically.
  • Once the pleasure of a few professional masochists, grueling adventure sports are suddenly a national rage


Pronunciation: /masəˈkɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • I'm looking forward to farm work in a perversely masochistic way.
  • Games are oddly masochistic; we submit to a bunch of often quite weird and arbitrary limits.
  • Getting it right involves detailed, local, committed investment of time and resources and an almost masochistic appetite for a challenge.


Pronunciation: /masəˈkɪstɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • Following the theory that no publicity is bad, this profoundly unloved institution revelled masochistically in the attention it got then, as it did again after last month's record low turnout in the European elections.
  • While their own relationship remains masochistically, oppressively chaste, they are plagued by the gossip that their increasingly close friendship generates within the local community.
  • And nobody else needs to masochistically try to step in on their behalf.


Late 19th century: named after Leopold von Sacher- Masoch (1835–95), the Austrian novelist who described it, + -ism.

  • Sexual pleasure derived from pain features in several stories by the 19th-century Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The German term Masochismus was used in 1890, and by 1892 English had adopted it as masochism. See also sadism

Definition of masochism in:

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