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[mawr-tuh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌmɔr tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
a feeling of humiliation or shame, as through some injury to one's pride or self-respect.
a cause or source of such humiliation or shame.
the practice of asceticism by penitential discipline to overcome desire for sin and to strengthen the will.
Pathology. the death of one part of the body while the rest is alive; gangrene; necrosis.
Origin of mortification
1350-1400; Middle English mortificacion < Late Latin mortificātiōn- (stem of mortificātiō), equivalent to morti- (see mortify) + -ficatiōn- -fication
Related forms
premortification, noun
1. See shame. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mortification
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ethelind was little less astonished than Beatrice had been, and truly did she feel for her mortification.

    A Book For The Young Sarah French
  • But go on, Miss: your mortification will be the greater; that's all, child.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • And it was through his efforts that we were subjected to all the mortification of so much publicity.

    It Pays to Smile Nina Wilcox Putnam
  • But, to my mortification and surprise, you persisted, and still persist.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Now he woke to his sober wits with a chill of mortification and disappointment not to be expressed.

    Salem Chapel, v.1/2 Mrs. Oliphant
  • "Never," said Almeria, with a sudden feeling of mortification.

  • But even if it were not to be done with safety she must give way to them now, anger and mortification forcing them from her eyes.

    Doctor Cupid Rhoda Broughton
  • He had never been sent to school, lest he should meet with mortification.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • After much expostulation to no purpose, they were obliged, with whatever reluctance and mortification, to return on board.

British Dictionary definitions for mortification


a feeling of loss of prestige or self-respect; humiliation
something causing this
(Christianity) the practice of mortifying the senses
another word for gangrene
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 mortification

late 14c., "mortifying the flesh, suppression of bodily desires," from Late Latin mortificationem (nominative mortificatio) "a killing, putting to death," from past participle stem of mortificare (see mortify). Sense of "feeling of humiliation" first recorded 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mortification in Medicine

mortification mor·ti·fi·ca·tion (môr'tə-fĭ-kā'shən)
Death or decay of one part of a living body; gangrene; necrosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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