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From Middle English crucifien, from Old French crucefier, from Late Latin crucificō, from Latin crucifigō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹuːsɪfaɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ


crucify (third-person singular simple present crucifies, present participle crucifying, simple past and past participle crucified)

  1. To execute (a person) by nailing to a cross.
  2. (hyperbolic) To punish or otherwise express extreme anger at, especially as a scapegoat or target of outrage.
    After his public gaffe, he was crucified in the media.
    • 1896 July 9, William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold speech:
      Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
    • 1992, Tori Amos (lyrics and music), “Crucify”:
      I crucify myself, nothing I do is good enough for you / I crucify myself every day
  3. (hyperbolic, informal, sports) To thoroughly beat at a sport or game.
    West Ham beat Manchester City five nil–they crucified them!

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