To mortify someone is to cause them extreme embarrassment. Your mother may not have been trying to mortify you when she showed up at your senior prom with a bunch of unicorn balloons, but she did.

The root of the verb mortify is from the Latin word mors, which means “death.” To mortify something used to mean to destroy its life, but now mortify is mostly used when you feel so ashamed or embarrassed you “want to die.” To punish yourself through deprivation from food or another desire, you can mortify that compulsion, but it’s probably best to just mortify your parents by showing up at their work place with a new mohawk.

Definitions of mortify
  1. verb
    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    synonyms: abase, chagrin, humble, humiliate
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    crush, demolish, smash
    humiliate or depress completely
    degrade, demean, disgrace, put down, take down
    reduce in worth or character, usually verbally
    lower in grade or rank or force somebody into an undignified situation
    dehumanise, dehumanize
    deprive of human qualities
    type of:
    bruise, hurt, injure, offend, spite, wound
    hurt the feelings of
  2. verb
    undergo necrosis
    synonyms: gangrene, necrose, sphacelate
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    type of:
    rot, waste
    become physically weaker
  3. verb
    practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
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    type of:
    crucify, subdue
    hold within limits and control
    check, condition, discipline, train
    develop (children's) behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control
  4. verb
    hold within limits and control
    mortify the flesh”
    synonyms: crucify, subdue
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    type of:
    check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
    lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
Word Family

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