suttee

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n suttee the act of a Hindu widow willingly cremating herself on the funeral pyre of her dead husband
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Suttee A Hindoo widow who immolates herself, or is immolated, on the funeral pile of her husband; -- so called because this act of self-immolation is regarded as envincing excellence of wifely character.
    • Suttee The act of burning a widow on the funeral pile of her husband.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n suttee A Hindu widow who immolates herself on the funeral pile, either with the body of her husband, or separately if he died at a distance.
    • n suttee The voluntary self-immolation of Hindu widows on the funeral pile of their husbands according to a Brahmanical rite. The custom is not known or commanded in the most ancient sacred books of the Hindus, but is early spoken of as highly meritorious. The practice is now abolished in British India, and is all but extinct in the native states.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Suttee sut-tē′ a usage long prevalent in India, in accordance with which, on the death of her husband, the faithful widow burned herself on the funeral pyre along with her husband's body
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Skr. satī, a faithful wife, fem. of sant, existing, real, true, good, p. pr. of as, to be. Cf. Sooth
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Sans. satí, a true wife.

Usage

In literature:

It was quite unlikely that he should be arrested for preventing a suttee.
"Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne
He issued his proclamation abolishing the Suttee in his district.
"Following the Equator, Part 5" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The King has prohibited both infanticide and suttee.
"A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II" by William Sleeman
Before the Act, of course, many women were, in a way, forced to become Suttees.
"Indian Ghost Stories" by S. Mukerji
In such a mood as his, an Indian woman would go to Suttee without a qualm.
"The Chauffeur and the Chaperon" by C. N. Williamson
The suttee is still thought no wrong.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 348" by Various
The mourners then withdraw to a shaded spot beside a suttee structure, and silently watch the conflagration.
"East of Suez" by Frederic Courtland Penfield
The suttee has been abolished by law, but child-widowhood yet remains to curse the lives of millions.
"A Tour of the Missions" by Augustus Hopkins Strong
Did we wait until India herself asked for the abolition of suttee?
"Lotus Buds" by Amy Carmichael
She's quite capable of playing suttee with her life.
"An Unknown Lover" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
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In poetry:

When a widow was burnt i' the Indian suttees,
Tae honour the dead, and the fause gods tae please,
The puir heathen body I'm pincht tae accuse,
Whan I read o' they crinoline deaths i' the news.
"Crinoline" by Janet Hamilton