martyr


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Related to martyr: Martyr Syndrome, Martyr complex

make a martyr of (one)

To make someone on the opposing side of an issue suffer for their position, only for that suffering to cause other people to sympathize with the victim and join his or her cause. The British government's biggest mistake in dealing with the Irish revolutionaries was to execute the leaders of the 1916 uprising. By making martyrs of them, the government unified the Irish people in a position of revolt.
See also: make, martyr, of

make a martyr of (oneself)

To go out of one's way to do difficult or unpleasant things, especially to engender pity or sympathy in others. My mother always made a martyr of herself at Christmas time, slaving away in the kitchen and then complaining about how tired she was.
See also: make, martyr, of
References in classic literature ?
Also it did much toward making a martyr of Baynes in her eyes and arousing in her breast a keen feeling of loyalty toward him.
Her face grew set in its lines, but her eyes shone with the devotion of a martyr as she answered, "Ah no
At the appointed hour Elder William Hitch rose, and, in an irritated voice, as if he had already been contradicted, said, "I tell you that Joe Smith is a martyr, that his brother Hiram is a martyr, and that the persecutions of the United States Government against the prophets will also make a martyr of Brigham Young.
Bonacieux, the respectable martyr of the political and amorous intrigues which entangled themselves so nicely together at this gallant and chivalric period.
Instead of a rude mixture of sailors, soldiers, and those belonging to the humblest grade of life, the present assembly was composed of the very flower of Marseilles society, -- magistrates who had resigned their office during the usurper's reign; officers who had deserted from the imperial army and joined forces with Conde; and younger members of families, brought up to hate and execrate the man whom five years of exile would convert into a martyr, and fifteen of restoration elevate to the rank of a god.
Athos and his friends, again mingling with the throng, were taking a last look at the martyr king.
Break the bonds of natural affection, martyr thy love, and know that in all these things eternal wisdom hath its ends.
He writhed and wriggled under the infliction, but, fully convinced of my skill, endured the pain like a martyr.
I die a Martyr to my greif for the loss of Augustus.
If great Titian had only been gifted with prophecy, and had skipped a martyr, and gone over to England and painted a portrait of Shakspeare, even as a youth, which we could all have confidence in now, the world down to the latest generations would have forgiven him the lost martyr in the rescued seer.
Without uttering a cry, without shedding a tear, patient, mild, resigned as a martyr, he raised his eyes towards Heaven, in order there to see again, rising above the mountain of Gigelli, the beloved shade that was leaving him at the moment of Grimaud's arrival.
The pitiable lot is that of the man who could not call himself a martyr even though he were to persuade himself that the men who stoned him were but ugly passions incarnate--who knows that he is stoned, not for professing the Right, but for not being the man he professed to be.
Thus, the reader will see that I had no claim to be regarded as a martyr to filial piety, going forth to sacrifice peace and liberty for the sole purpose of laying up stores for the comfort and support of my parents: though certainly the comfort of my father, and the future support of my mother, had a large share in my calculations; and fifty pounds appeared to me no ordinary sum.
Gryphus pointed with his finger to the bed on which the martyr had suffered so much, who on that day had rendered his soul to God.
Follow your mother-in-law," cried the landlady, suddenly dropping the character of a martyr, and assuming the character of a vixen in its place.