American English

Definition of martyr noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a person who suffers very much or is killed because of their religious or political beliefs the early Christian martyrs a martyr to the cause of freedom
  2. 2(usually disapproving) a person who tries to get sympathy from other people by telling them how much he or she is suffering He makes a martyr of himself whenever it's his turn to do the housework.
  3. 3martyr to something (informal) a person who suffers very much because of an illness, problem, or situation She's a martyr to her allergies. I feel like a martyr to this vacuum cleaner.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: martyr

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