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From Latin mactō (I kill”, “I sacrifice”, “I immolate), from mactus (honoured); compare Middle French macter.



mactate (third-person singular simple present mactates, present participle mactating, simple past and past participle mactated)

  1. (transitive, rare) To kill in sacrifice.
    • 1860, The Rev. William Henderson et al., Theological Defence for the Right Rev. Alexander Penrose Forbes, D.C.L., Bishop of Brechin, page 74:
      As has been shown, it is historically true that a vulgar opinion to the effect that Christ was separately mactated in the sacrifices of masses prevailed at the time of the Reformation, which opinion being perfectly analogous to that which the Apostle combats, nothing could be more appropriate than to quote his teaching in condemnation of it.
    • 1988, Godfrey Ashby, Sacrifice: Its Nature and Purpose (SCM; ISBN 0334014379, 9780334014379), page 60:
      Precisely so, for in both cases, it is not mere obedience which is being offered, the quality of ‘doing what you are told’, ‘yours not to reason why’, but the obedience of a people under covenant, who offer sacrifice, because they have been told to and because they express their obedience in terms of mactated animals and burnt loaves of bread.
    • 2004, David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 9780802829214, page 346:
      One could argue, in fact, that all pagan order was just such an order of sacrifice, a system of exclusion, which mactated the singular so as to recover the serener forms of the universal, making a holocaust even of the desirable and the beautiful as an appeasement of the formlessness besetting the fragile order of cosmos and city from every quarter.

Related terms[edit]

  • macte! (chiefly literary)






  1. vocative masculine singular of mactātus