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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
  • Each devotee has his own rituals, though most rely on the principles of self-mortification and delayed gratification.
  • We looked at each other in utter mortification.
  • The attention of peers is crucial, shunning by them a long-remembered mortification.
  • Even worse than being caught in daylight is the mortification of wearing black clothes so overwashed that they start to look gray.
  • The sheer mortification of being seen with her dad! She never broached the topic again that weekend.
  • They half-turned, mystified, as my boyfriend peered at the gutter in mortification.
  • The choreographed mortification ritual has played out more than a score of times since 1832.
  • Along with feelings of pride have come moments of unease and even mortification.
  • These activities were interpreted as sleazily as possible by the college vice-president, to my mortification and humiliation.
  • I've seen some people who were fierce in the face of mortification and death.
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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