verb (mortifies, mortifying, mortified)[with object]
- 1Cause (someone) to feel very embarrassed or ashamed: she was mortified to see her wrinkles in the mirror (as adjective mortifying) how mortifying to find that he was rightMore 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.’
- 2Subdue (the body or its needs and desires) by self-denial or discipline: return to heaven by mortifying the fleshMore example sentences
subdue, suppress, subjugate, control, restrain, get under control; discipline, chasten, punish, deny
- 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.
- 3 [no object] (Of flesh) be affected by gangrene or necrosis: a scratch or cut in Henry’s arm had mortifiedMore 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.
- More 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'.