Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. The act of offering something to a deity in propitiation or homage, especially the ritual slaughter of an animal or a person.
b. A victim offered in this way.
a. The act of giving up something highly valued for the sake of something else considered to have a greater value or claim: Social activism often involves tremendous sacrifice.
b. Something given up in this way.
a. Relinquishment of something at less than its presumed value.
b. Something so relinquished.
c. A loss so sustained.
4. Baseball A sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly.
v. sac·ri·ficed, sac·ri·fic·ing, sac·ri·fic·es
1. To offer as a sacrifice to a deity.
2. To give up (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.
3. To sell or give away at a loss.
4. To kill (an animal) for purposes of scientific research or experimentation.
1. To offer a sacrifice: The Greek warriors sacrificed to their gods.
2. To make a sacrifice: parents sacrificing for their children.
3. Baseball To make a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred; see sacred + facere, to make; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

sac′ri·fic′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sacrificer - a religious person who offers up a sacrifice
religious person - a person who manifests devotion to a deity
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Ye do not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the animal hath bowed its head?
Likewise, the Latyayana Srautasutra (4.12.8), after instructing the sacrificer to give a milk cow and so forth to various priests, says that he should give to the Udgatr priests all of the above made into trivargas (sarve trivargah), that is, each gift is tripled and the gifts are thus made into sets of threes.
(8 )He was a great sacrificer and from this was called Vegeir.
During these procedures, the sacrificer convenes the being by pronouncing its true name, orally signifying his desire to place the object under its protection.
Instead, they recast it as a combined ritual-military enterprise, with the prospective self-annihilator becoming "the willful agent of his own demise," simultaneously operating as "sacrificer, sacrifier, and victim" (p.
We have defined a "global" sacrifice as one by which a larger population is saved, and a "personal" sacrifice as one for a single person or smaller group (typically of personal relevance to the sacrificer, such as their friends or family).
The pictures suggest that the chin adornment would have been found associated with the central deity of the Tiawanaku and Huari iconography, in addition to the feline manifestation of the Sacrificer in Tiawanaku art (Figures 17a and 17b), in which the head of the feline bears a severed human limb in its headdress, in this case a human leg (7).
"It's my 'sinker sacrificer' when I get snagged in rocks," he says.
(47) Brutus wants to see himself as a "sacrificer," a "purger," rather than a "butcher"; Hamlin sees this language as recalling Hebrews 9-10.
For John, the prince can be both "the image of a divinity" and "the image of an executioner," both god and man, both the sacrificer and the victim.
Ideally, one is the sacrificed and the sacrificer at once, as there is always in the human being this necessity of suppressing himself while conserving himself.