Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “martyr”


noun [C]     /ˈmɑː.tər/ US  /ˈmɑːr.t̬ɚ/
a person who suffers very much or is killed because of their political or religious beliefs, and is often admired because of it: a Christian/Islamic/religious martyr She fought against racism all her life and died a martyr to the cause.Followers of religious groups disapproving someone who tries to get sympathy from others when they have a problem or too much work, usually having caused the problem or chosen to do the work themselves: She offers to do extra work, then plays the martyr!Unpleasant people in generalUnpleasant men
(Definition of martyr noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of martyr

Definitions of “martyr” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

limber up

to do gentle exercises to stretch the muscles in order to prepare the body for more active physical exercise

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More