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[im-uh-leyt] /ˈɪm əˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), immolated, immolating.
to sacrifice.
to kill as a sacrificial victim, as by fire; offer in sacrifice.
to destroy by fire.
Origin of immolate
1540-50; < Latin immolātus, past participle of immolāre to sprinkle with holy meal prior to sacrificing, sacrifice, equivalent to im- im-1 + mol(a) sacrificial barley cake, literally, millstone (see mill1) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
immolator, noun
unimmolated, adjective
Can be confused
emulate, immolate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for immolate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Fiji islanders used to immolate a man at the foot of each pillar in the home of a chief, as a guard for the edifice.

  • Perhaps it was her destiny to immolate herself for duty to the end.

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
  • What are the conventions, that you should immolate yourself and your child to them?

    Ragna Anna Miller Costantini
  • One among ms must immolate himself, study the malady, seek its cure.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • It will not be the first time that humanity has preferred to immolate a god rather than admit its own guilt.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
  • The heads which they have sworn to immolate must be obtained at any cost.

    The Human Race Louis Figuier
  • We do not merely sacrifice our first-born; we immolate the whole of our progeny.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
  • Not even for that Divinity or Daemon for which we all immolate so much!

    Coningsby Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for immolate


verb (transitive)
to kill or offer as a sacrifice, esp by fire
(literary) to sacrifice (something highly valued)
Derived Forms
immolation, noun
immolator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin immolāre to sprinkle an offering with sacrificial meal, sacrifice, from im- (in) + mola spelt grain; see mill1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for immolate

1540s, "to sacrifice, kill as a victim," from Latin immolatus, past participle of immolare "to sacrifice," originally "to sprinkle with sacrificial meal," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + mola (salsa) "(sacrificial) meal," related to molere "to grind" (see mallet). Related: Immolated; immolating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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