A sacrifice is a loss or something you give up, usually for the sake of a better cause. Parents sacrifice time and sleep to take care of their children, while kids might sacrifice TV time to hang out with mom and dad.

Though no longer used only in a religious context, sacrifice comes from the Latin sacra and facere, meaning "to perform sacred rites." If you've studied ancient cultures like the Incas, you've probably heard of "human sacrifice," where a person is killed in a sacred ceremony to please the gods. But thankfully those kinds of sacrifices don't happen anymore.

Primary Meanings of sacrifice

the act of killing (an animal or person) in order to propitiate a deity
make a sacrifice of; in religious rituals
(baseball) an out that advances the base runners
Full Definitions of sacrifice

n the act of killing (an animal or person) in order to propitiate a deity

ritual killing
a great sacrifice; an ancient Greek or Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen
killing or offering as a sacrifice
Type of:
kill, killing, putting to death
the act of terminating a life

n personnel that are sacrificed (e.g., surrendered or lost in order to gain an objective)

Type of:
loss, personnel casualty
military personnel lost by death or capture

n the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.

forfeit, forfeiture
Type of:
act, deed, human action, human activity
something that people do or cause to happen

n a loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value

“he had to sell his car at a considerable sacrifice
Type of:
something that is lost

v make a sacrifice of; in religious rituals

offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction
Type of:
offer, offer up
present as an act of worship

v kill or destroy

“The animals were sacrificed after the experiment”
“The general had to sacrifice several soldiers to save the regiment”
Type of:
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

v endure the loss of

devote, give, pay
commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
Type of:
free, give up, release, relinquish, resign
part with a possession or right

v sell at a loss

Type of:
exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent

n (baseball) an out that advances the base runners

sacrifice fly
a sacrifice made by hitting a long fly ball
Type of:
an out resulting from a fielding play (not a strikeout)

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