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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Mortification


MORTIFICA'TION, noun [See Mortify.]

1. In medicine and surgery, the death and consequent putrefaction of one part of any animal body, while the rest is alive; or the loss of heat and action in some part of a living animal, followed by a dissolution of organic texture; gangrene; sphacelus. mortification is the local or partial death of a living animal body, and if not arrested, soon extinguishes life in the whole body. We usually apply mortification to the local extinction of life and loss or organic texture in a living body. The dissolution of the whole body after death, is called putrefaction.

2. In Scripture, the act of subduing the passions and appetites by penance, abstinence or painful severities inflicted on the body. The mortification of the body by fasting has been the practice of almost all nations, and the mortification of the appetites and passions by self-denial is always a christian duty.

3. Humiliation or slight vexation; the state of being humbled or depressed by disappointment, vexation, crosses, or any thing that wounds or abases pride.

It is one of the vexatious mortifications of a studious man to have his thoughts disordered by a tedious visit.

We had the mortification to lose sight of Munich, Augsburg and Ratisbon.

4. Destruction of active qualities; applied to metals. [See Mortify; but I believe not used.]