Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

agony

play
noun ag·o·ny \ˈa-gə-nē\

Simple Definition of agony

  • : extreme mental or physical pain

Full Definition of agony

plural ag·o·nies

  1. 1 a :  intense pain of mind or body :  anguish, torture b :  the struggle that precedes death

  2. 2 :  a violent struggle or contest

  3. 3 :  a strong sudden display (as of joy or delight) :  outburst

Examples of agony

  1. She was in terrible agony after breaking her leg.

  2. The medicine relieves the agony of muscle cramps very quickly.

  3. It was agony to watch him suffer like that.



Origin of agony

Middle English agonie, from Late Latin agonia, from Greek agōnia struggle, anguish, from agōn gathering, contest for a prize, from agein to lead, celebrate — more at agent


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of agony

distress, suffering, misery, agony mean the state of being in great trouble. distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress <the hurricane put everyone in great distress>. suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress <the suffering of famine victims>. misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss <the homeless live with misery every day>. agony suggests pain too intense to be borne <in agony over the death of their child>.

Medical Dictionary

agony

play
noun ag·o·ny \ˈag-ə-nē\

Medical Definition of agony

plural ag·o·nies

  1. 1:  intense pain of mind or body

  2. 2:  the struggle that precedes death






Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up agony? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ