1. The deriving of sexual gratification from fantasies or acts that involve being made to suffer physical or mental pain. Also called sexual masochism.
2. The deriving of pleasure from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.
[After Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895), Austrian novelist .]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.