excruciating

adjective
ex·​cru·​ci·​at·​ing | \ ik-ˈskrü-shē-ˌā-tiŋ How to pronounce excruciating (audio) \

Definition of excruciating

1 : causing great pain or anguish : agonizing the nation's most excruciating dilemma— W. H. Ferry
2 : very intense : extreme excruciating pain

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from excruciating

excruciatingly \ ik-​ˈskrü-​shē-​ˌā-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce excruciating (audio) \ adverb

Examples of excruciating in a Sentence

I have an excruciating headache. an excruciating moment of embarrassment They described their vacation in excruciating detail.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The chemical seeped into her eyes and inside her ear canal, causing excruciating pain that sent her to the emergency room. NBC News, "Unbearable pain: How bear spray became a prized weapon for violent protesters," 20 Mar. 2021 It was developed by the Greek sage Socrates in the 5th-century B.C. as a means of promoting tranquility—even in the face of excruciating physical pain. Angus Fletcher, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight of Literature’s Most Powerful Inventions—and the Neuroscience Behind How They Work," 10 Mar. 2021 Which may explain why so many liberals are finding these last few election countdown days so excruciating: Every day brings a new round of deeply complex, ambiguous and novel things to worry about. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Polls, maps, doomscrolling and 2016 flashbacks — is election anxiety getting to you?," 1 Nov. 2020 Because of that, the pain in her knees can be excruciating. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Rebecca Lee didn’t want to play basketball. Now she has Mount St. Mary’s in its first NCAA tournament since 1995.," 20 Mar. 2021 For those who must depend on U.I. benefits, navigating the system can be excruciating. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Rip Up the Unemployment System and Start Again," 3 Mar. 2021 Padnos’ account of his capture may be the most excruciating reading in a book with a fair amount of torture. Karl Vick, Time, "Islamist Terrorism Is Not Done With Us, Warns Former al Qaeda Hostage Theo Padnos," 25 Feb. 2021 Then, backstage, Mills delivered one of the most excruciating news conferences ever captured on film. Washington Post, "Fanne Foxe, ‘Argentine Firecracker’ at center of D.C. sex scandal, dies at 84," 24 Feb. 2021 Indeed, one of the most excruciating decisions that Dreamers face is leaving behind family and immigrant parents who sacrificed everything to get their children to America. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Biden proposes a path to citizenship. Some Dreamers have already bailed.," 5 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excruciating.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of excruciating

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excruciating

Time Traveler for excruciating

Time Traveler

The first known use of excruciating was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Statistics for excruciating

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excruciating.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excruciating. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excruciating

excruciating

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of excruciating

: very painful : causing great mental or physical pain
: very severe
: extreme or excessive

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on excruciating

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!