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make a martyr of (one)

To make one on the opposing side of an issue suffer for their position, only for that suffering to cause other people to sympathize with the victim, thus strengthening their 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 periodicals archive ?
The DPO assured the families of the martyred cops that the police would continue to give priority for the resolution of their problems and would not spare any pain for their welfare.
With tears welling up in his eyes, he stated that the doors to his office were always open for the families of the martyred.
A number of security forces personnel have been martyred during Operation Radd-ul Fassad.
"I am not only accepting my fate, but feel proud of her son who was martyred while defending right and justice."
During the reign of Mwanga about 100 Christians of various denominations were martyred. When the White Fathers returned after the death of Mwanga, they found 500 Christians and 1,000 catechumens waiting for them!
The lattre examinacyon of Anne Askewe, lately martyred in Smythfelde, by the wicked Synagogue of Antichrist, with the Elucydacyon of Johan Bale.
The martyred bishops, priests, religious, and laypeople of Central and Latin America, as Jesuit theologian Jon Sobrino and others have noted, had the dismal honor of being killed not by pagans who hated Christianity but by people who prided themselves on representing the most authentic form of Catholic culture while also fighting against "Marxist traitors."
He reiterated that the government of Pakistan is committed to provide every facility to the families of martyred personnel while jobs and other privileges were also awarded to the family members.
He said that educational facilities would be provided to the children of martyred personnel and expenses at universities would be also provided by Islamabad police.
The police officials also held a candlelit vigil at Fowara Chowk to remember their martyred colleagues.
According to a Kashmir Media Service report, Indian soldiers martyred the five youths during a cordon-and-search operation in the district's Kellam area.
RAWALPINDI -- Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and his wife on Thursday visited the family of martyred police sub-inspector Abbas.
RAWALPINDI -- Army chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and his wife on Thursday visited the family of martyred police sub-inspector Abbas.
SRINAGAR -- Indian troops martyred three Kashmiri youth in the Khudwani village located in Kulgam district on Sunday, the Kashmir Media Service reported.
Asma al-Assad exchanged cordial speeches with sons and daughters of the martyrs, affirming that the Syrians are always pride of their martyrs, whether those who have been martyred during previous stages of Syria's history or those during the current war against Terrorists.