Main meanings of sati in English

: sati1Sati2


(also suttee)

Pronunciation /ˈsʌtiː/ /sʌˈtiː/

nounsatis, suttees

mass noun
  • 1historical A former practice in India whereby a widow threw herself on to her husband's funeral pyre.

    ‘Her grandmother was widowed and they burned her alive in suttee, a Hindu practice the British stopped.’
    • ‘In general, Hindu practices, and sati in particular, are repeatedly characterized as demonic in a manner similar to European witchcraft.’
    • ‘To explain the weakness of such a position I used to ask them whether the British authorities in India were justified in banning the practice of suttee, where a widow was immolated on the funeral pyre of her husband.’
    • ‘Cecil Adams points out that some Hindus, including women, argue that suttee should be allowed because it's an integral part of their tradition.’
    • ‘Roy used the philosophical ideas found in the earliest Hindu scriptures to criticize the polytheism and some of the practices of popular Hinduism, such as sati.’
    • ‘Gordon rescues a young bride, Jwala, from the banned practice of suttee - a bride immolating herself with her dead husband.’
    • ‘This powerful period melodrama is set in the early years of the 19th century, right before the practice of sati was outlawed.’
    • ‘In the account of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, there is no mention of his liberal social policies, his prohibition of the slave trade and of involuntary sati.’
    • ‘Though both are derived from the low social value of women, bride burning needs to be distinguished from sati, or, widow burning.’
    • ‘What about suttee in India, a traditional practice abolished by the British colonialists?’
    • ‘Buildings and people of various races and degrees, modes of transport on sea and land, local beliefs and customs such as sati are portrayed with commendable attention to realistic detail.’
    • ‘A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband's funeral pyre.’
    • ‘As such, the campaigns against thuggee and suttee frequently cropped up in imperial apologetics.’
    • ‘First-wave feminists also maintained a wounded attachment to sati to justify their need to be partners in the Empire as civilising agents.’
    • ‘Our guide told us they belonged to women who once lived in the fort, and left their hand prints on their way to sati.’
    • ‘Thus, there is no command either in Ramayana or in Gita to commit suttee.’
    • ‘Historical tales suggested that a woman attained both the power to give a curse and to confer a blessing in the period between her vow of sati and her death.’
    • ‘Women who practiced this act of sati were revered as saints and stone sati memorials exist in Rajasthan.’
    self-destruction, taking one's own life, self-murder, self-slaughter, felo de se
    1. 1.1count noun A widow who committed sati.
      ‘There is another traditional verse celebrating five satis, chaste wives: Sati, Sita, Savitri, Damayanti and Arundhati.’
      • ‘Instances abound in our social, political and cultural history where nation mothers, Partition victims, satis or even simple housewives tend to stimulate a role-playing among men to become protectors, devotees and wage earners.’
      • ‘The sati is the epitome of the obedient wife, but her burning is irredeemably barbaric.’
      • ‘Such a move enables a second shift, namely, the shift from viewing the sati as victim, to viewing her as active bearer of a particular, context-specific, subjectivity.’


Hindi, from Sanskrit satī ‘faithful wife’, from sat ‘good’.

Main meanings of Sati in English

: sati1Sati2


Pronunciation /ˈsʌtiː/ /sʌˈtiː/

proper noun

  • The wife of Shiva, reborn as Parvati. According to some accounts, she died by throwing herself into a sacred fire.