martyrdom

Suffering or dying for your beliefs, that’s martyrdom, and while it doesn’t sound pleasant, some people feel it’s a great honor.

The root of martyrdom is the Greek word martur, which means “witness"; the suffix -dom means “state or condition.” In a religious context, people who experience martyrdom bear witness for their faith and suffer or die because of their beliefs. Some people falsely claim martyrdom as a way to get attention, like your brother who whines about doing chores because his pinkie hurts.

Definitions of martyrdom
  1. noun
    death that is imposed because of the person's adherence of a religious faith or cause
    see moresee less
    type of:
    death, decease, demise, expiry
    the event of dying or departure from life
  2. noun
    any experience that causes intense suffering
    synonyms: calvary
    see moresee less
    type of:
    affliction
    a cause of great suffering and distress
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week