Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: RELIGION

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin sacrificium, from sacer ( SACRED) + facere 'to make'

sacrifice

1 noun
     
sac‧ri‧fice1
1 [uncountable and countable] when you decide not to have something valuable, in order to get something that is more important:
The minister stressed the need for economic sacrifice.
The workforce were willing to make sacrifices in order to preserve jobs.
She brought three children up single-handedly, often at great personal sacrifice.
2RR
a) [uncountable and countable] the act of offering something to a god, especially in the past, by killing an animal or person in a religious ceremony:
They made sacrifices to ensure a good harvest.
b) [countable] an animal, person, or object offered to a god in sacrifice
sacrifice to
In those days, an animal was offered as a sacrifice to God.
a human sacrifice (=a person killed as a sacrifice)
3 literary

the final/supreme/ultimate sacrifice

the act of dying while you are fighting for a principle or in order to help other people:
Captain Oates made the ultimate sacrifice in a bid to save his colleagues.
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