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.

Primary Meanings of mortify

cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
undergo necrosis
practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
Full Definitions of mortify

v cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of

abase, chagrin, humble, humiliate
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
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

v undergo necrosis

gangrene, necrose, sphacelate
Type of:
rot, waste
become physically weaker

v practice self-denial of one's body and appetites

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

v hold within limits and control

mortify the flesh”
crucify, subdue
Type of:
check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.