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[self-sak-ruh-fahys, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈsæk rəˌfaɪs, ˈsɛlf-/
sacrifice of one's interests, desires, etc., as for duty or the good of another.
Origin of self-sacrifice
Related forms
self-sacrificer, noun
[self-sak-ruh-fish-uh l, self-] /ˈsɛlfˌsæk rəˈfɪʃ əl, ˌsɛlf-/ (Show IPA),
self-sacrificing, adjective
self-sacrificingly, adverb
self-sacrificingness, noun
unself-sacrificial, adjective
unself-sacrificially, adverb
unself-sacrificing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for self-sacrifice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The struggle was soon over, and the impulse of self-sacrifice had conquered.

  • Considered as a form of self-sacrifice, it was not without its pleasures.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • "There is no happy life for woman—the advantage that the world offers her is her choice in self-sacrifice," wrote Mr. Howells.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • Somewhere in him were the seeds of self-sacrifice, the seeds of a generous devotion to others.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • She had a clever scheme, concocted by herself and Mary Lou while they mingled their tears over this recital of self-sacrifice.

    The Sheriff of Badger George B. Pattullo
  • For a man of real convictions this is a fine opportunity of self-sacrifice.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for self-sacrifice


the sacrifice of one's own desires, interest, etc, for the sake of duty or for the well-being of others
Derived Forms
self-sacrificing, adjective
self-sacrificingly, adverb
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 self-sacrifice

1805, from self- + sacrifice (n.). Adjective self-sacrific'd attested from 1711. Related: self-sacrificing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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