Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to suttee: thuggee, Thugee


also sa·ti  (sŭ-tē′, sŭt′ē′)
1. The now illegal act or practice of a Hindu widow's cremating herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to fulfill her true role as wife.
2. pl. sut·tees also sa·tis A widow who commits such an act.

[Sanskrit satī, virtuous woman, suttee, from feminine present participle of asti, s-, she is, is true; see es- in Indo-European roots.]


(sʌˈtiː; ˈsʌtiː)
1. (Hinduism) the former Hindu custom whereby a widow burnt herself to death on her husband's funeral pyre
2. (Hinduism) a Hindu widow who immolated herself in this way
[C18: from Sanskrit satī virtuous woman, from sat good]
sutˈteeism n


or sa•ti

(sʌˈti, ˈsʌt i)

n., pl. -tees or -tis.
1. the self-immolation of a Hindu widow on the funeral pyre of her husband: now proscribed by law in India.
2. a widow who so immolates herself.
[1780–90; < Skt satī good woman, woman devoted to her husband]


1. the suicide of a Hindu widow by immolation on the funeral pyre of her husband.
2. a Hindu widow who died by suttee.
See also: Killing


A Hindu practice by which a widow immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. The British tried to stamp out the custom from 1829 with limited success.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.suttee - the act of a Hindu widow willingly cremating herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband
self-annihilation, self-destruction, suicide - the act of killing yourself; "it is a crime to commit suicide"
References in classic literature ?
Sir Francis watched the procession with a sad countenance, and, turning to the guide, said, "A suttee."
Phileas Fogg had heard what Sir Francis said, and, as soon as the procession had disappeared, asked: "What is a suttee?"
"A suttee," returned the general, "is a human sacrifice, but a voluntary one.
"Indeed it was: I had as good a right to die when my time came as he had: but I should bide that time, and not be hurried away in a suttee."
(22) Sati (or Suttee) is mentioned as "the Indian custom of a wife immolating herself either on the funeral pyre of her dead husband or in some other fashion soon after his death." - "Suttee" Encyclopaedia Britannica.
The Hindu practice of Suttee (widows being forced to throw themselves on their dead husbands' funeral pyres) was banned by the British Raj.
Dem arabischen Orientalismus entsprechend wird die Frau in den Mittelpunkt geruckt; dies gilt zum Beispiel fur die Rolle der japanischen Geisha als Sexualobjekt und auch fur die Frau als Traditionstragerin Indiens in der Rolle der sich durch Suttee selbst verstummelnden Witwe.
(14.) See James Peggs, India's Cries to British Humanity, Relative to the Suttee, Infanticide, British Connexion with Idolatry, Ghaut Murders, and Slavery in India: To Which Is Added Human Hints for the Melioration of the State of Society in British India, 2nd ed.
According to humanist photographer Tewfic El-Sawy, 'By renouncing life's luxuries and by withdrawing from society, critics of this practice have declared that such women are living a form of suttee, the now outlawed practice of burning widows alive on the dead husband's funeral pyre' (Sathe, 2015, p.
"His unwearied labour to promote the social, moral and physical condition of the people of India, his earnest endeavours to suppress idolatry and the rite of suttee and his constant zealous advocacy of whatever tended to advance the glory of God and the welfare of man live in the grateful remembrance of his countrymen.
On the other hand, one cannot take social norms too far, at least not in a libertarian analysis, since suttee, the practice of throwing unwilling widows onto funeral pyres was for many years a common occurrence in India, and, yet, certainly, incompatible with the free society.
Consideremos sua investigacao do suttee, uma pratica segundo a qual as viuvas da India devem lancar-se as piras funerarias de seus falecidos maridos, em luto (e para manter-se puras), em que Daly centra-se na desmistificacao de seus alegados aspectos voluntarios.