1. One who, by his death, bears witness to the truth of the gospel; one who is put to death for his religion; as, Stephen was the first Christian martyr.
To be a martyr, signifies only to witness the truth of Christ; but the witnessing of the truth was then so generally attended with persecution, that martyrdom now signifies not only to witness, but to witness by death. --South.
2. Hence, one who sacrifices his life, his station, or what is of great value to him, for the sake of principle, or to sustain a cause.
Then if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr ! --Shak.
Mar·tyr v. t. [imp. & p. p. Martyred p. pr. & vb. n. Martyring.]
1. To put to death for adhering to some belief, esp. Christianity; to sacrifice on account of faith or profession.
2. To persecute; to torment; to torture.
The lovely Amoret, whose gentle heart
Thou martyrest with sorrow and with smart. --Spenser.
Racked with sciatics, martyred with the stone. --Pope.
n 1: one who suffers for the sake of principle [syn: sufferer]
2: one who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty for
refusing to renounce their religion
v 1: kill as a martyr; "Saint Sebastian was martyred"
2: torture and torment like a martyr [syn: martyrize, martyrise]
one who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the
cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this sense
Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all
other cases is translated "witness." (1.) In a court of justice
(Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19).
(2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has
seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5,
10; 1 John 1:2).