Today’s word search brings up a Vocabulary Vitamin describing what happens to traitors. To martyrs. And to marshmallows. On a talk show today, the host said he hoped a certain someone wouldn’t be immolated for his views. So your trusty Vocabulary Lady immediately yanked open a dictionary and did a word search on immolate, thinking the word meant to deride, or criticize. Well, rachet that up a notch: The word immolate means sacrifice. Burn at the stake. Kill, destroy. That’s what the word search revealed, or my name’s not Etta. Mology.
Even though immolate has a lot of m’s, like hmm, or umm, don’t be fooled by those soft, indecisive little sounds. A word search of immolate in classic literature brings up countless examples of traitors being immolated, widows immolating themselves, bulls formerly being immolated and even horses immolated on the graves of young and courageous braves who die in battle. And don’t forget Joan of Arc. This is not a pansy word.
A Tale Of Two Cities by Dickens, Charles
That, he had been the prisoner’s friend, but, at once in an auspicious and an evil hour detecting his infamy, had resolved to immolate the traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom, on the sacred altar of his country.
A Lute of Jade by Cranmer-Byng, L.
It is the doctrine of eternal constancy, so dimly understood in the Western world, which bids the young wife immolate herself on her husband’s tomb rather than marry again…
Essays, Second Series by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
What have I gained, that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove or to Neptune, or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides, or the Catholic Purgatory…or the Calvinistic Judgment-day,–if I quake at opinion, the public opinion…
The Prairie by Cooper, James Fenimore
iWith a delicacy and consideration, that proved how much the generous qualities of the youth had touched the feelings of his people, a bow, a lance, and a quiver, were thrown across the animal, which it had been intended to immolate on the grave of the young brave…
Today’s Vocabulary Vitamin Word is: im• mo• late, verb
Hear it here:
tr.v.im• mo• lat• ed, im• mo• lat• ing, im• mo• lates
1. To kill as a sacrifice.
2. To kill (oneself) by fire.
3. To destroy.
Immolate: To kill as a sacrifice; to set (oneself) ablaze so as to sacrifice; to destroy. “The group immolated themselves in protest of the government policies. ” From the Urban Dictionary.
Literary to kill or offer as a sacrifice, esp. by fire [Latin immolare] [Latin immolre, immolt-, to sacrifice, sprinkle with sacrificial meal : in-, on; see in-2 + mola, meal, millstone; see mel- in Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
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