ag·​o·​niz·​ing ˈa-gə-ˌnī-ziŋ How to pronounce agonizing (audio)
: causing agony
agonizingly adverb

Examples of agonizing in a Sentence

a long and agonizing battle with cancer She made the agonizing decision to cancel the trip. The agonizing wait was finally over. He was in agonizing pain.
Recent Examples on the Web But Easton’s recovery has been as agonizing as it has been measured. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 Insufficient child care options often compel working moms to make agonizing choices between their careers and the well-being of their children. Dana Toppel, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Aug. 2023 The calls assured him his family was still OK but were agonizing for Mohammad. USA TODAY, 13 Aug. 2023 Seeing this unfold is agonizing for the exhausted competitors. Thomas Curran, Time, 8 Aug. 2023 After Month-Long Stay in Hospital for Blood Infection It’s been a long, agonizing journey since those early days after her diagnosis. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 23 Aug. 2023 By this argument, Zaslav is being blamed for an agonizing but inevitable period of adjustment. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2023 Whether to sell the rights to one’s voice is an agonizing decision for a professional narrator. Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2023 Creator Lee Sung Jin puts his leads, Amy (Ali Wong) and Danny (Steven Yeun), through an agonizing existential free fall, peeling back the layers on lifetimes of disappointment and resentment. Chris Vognar, Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agonizing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from present participle of agonize

First Known Use

1570, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agonizing was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near agonizing

Cite this Entry

“Agonizing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on agonizing

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