Definition of mortify in English:

mortify

verbmortifies, mortifying, mortified

[with object]
  • 1Cause (someone) to feel very embarrassed or ashamed.

    ‘she was mortified to see her wrinkles in the mirror’
    • ‘I was totally mortified, wondering what people thought was happening in there!’
    • ‘Grandma once told me I mortified my mother by saying, ‘I always love coming to Grandma's because it's so clean.’’
    • ‘Teacher Jane Norton said: ‘The poor girl who was looking after him was mortified.’’
    • ‘I am mortified that any discussions about my private life should come out in this way.’
    • ‘If I break a glass at someone else's house, I'm mortified beyond belief.’
    • ‘I'm always mortified when something like that happens.’
    • ‘I laughed it off but, deep down, I was absolutely mortified.’
    • ‘I am mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch.’
    • ‘I hope their parents were mortified when told their children were involved in this type of thing.’
    • ‘Everyone laughed at me and I was duly mortified.’
    • ‘I was mortified and apologised profusely to Button's adviser.’
    • ‘I'm mortified to think someone has to get injured or worse for anything to be done.’
    • ‘‘I was mortified that on my second case I had done exactly what I had set out to avoid at all costs,’ he said.’
    • ‘Mum is standing over me assembling a costume and I am mortified because not only is my costume home made, it is made out of a brown paper rubbish bag.’
    • ‘When they told us we couldn't vote I was absolutely mortified.’
    • ‘She quickly pulled the covers to her neck, feeling mortified to be caught wearing a hospital gown.’
    • ‘‘Yeah… it's mortifying to know what happened to him’, Maria remarked.’
    • ‘Marianne finds this attention mortifying, as she thinks the Colonel, who is thirty-five and talks of flannel waistcoats, is too old to be a lover.’
    • ‘It's mortifying that my middle-aged mother is marrying a guy who is only four years older than me.’
    • ‘Kelly looked mortified at Roxie's suggestion.’
    embarrass, humiliate, chagrin, shame, discomfit, abash, horrify, appal, crush
    View synonyms
  • 2Subdue (the body or its needs and desires) by self-denial or discipline.

    ‘return to heaven by mortifying the flesh’
    • ‘It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without.’
    • ‘People who mortify the body in some way will always command a voyeuristic interest.’
    • ‘If there is no more posting for a few hours, it will be because the Professor is mortifying the flesh with whips, chains and other penitent aids.’
    • ‘Many of the Christian systems chastise the body and mortify it.’
    • ‘His path was called ‘the Middle Way’, between life in society (seeking pleasures) and the life of a rigorous ascetic (fasting and mortifying the flesh).’
    • ‘There was room for two people to move comfortably, and a little altar of rock, at which Probus had prayed from sunrise to sunset, mortifying the flesh, dreaming of the Millennium.’
    • ‘Stoics sought to free themselves from bodily concerns by philosophical contemplation, while some Christians found value in mortifying the flesh, thereby turning their thoughts to the immortality of the soul.’
    • ‘Asceticism and self-flagellation mortified the flesh.’
    • ‘It's a form of catharsis that by mortifying flesh you will actually develop your spiritual side.’
    subdue, suppress, subjugate, control, restrain, get under control
    View synonyms
  • 3no object (of flesh) be affected by gangrene or necrosis.

    ‘a scratch or cut in Henry's arm had mortified’
    • ‘He received a cut of the thumb, was afterwards made an out-patient of the infirmary, but the wound mortified, produced lock-jaw, and death ensued.’
    • ‘The wound mortified and caused his death on 14 November 1804.’
    become gangrenous, fester, putrefy, gangrene, rot, decay, decompose
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the senses ‘put to death’, ‘deaden’, and ‘subdue by self-denial’): from Old French mortifier, from ecclesiastical Latin mortificare ‘kill, subdue’, from mors, mort- ‘death’.

Pronunciation

mortify

/ˈmɔːtɪfʌɪ/