ex·​cru·​ci·​at·​ing | \ ik-ˈskrü-shē-ˌā-tiŋ \

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 \ 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

My patella kept dislocating, and the pain was excruciating. Zoe Wilder, Good Housekeeping, "My Knee Surgery Led to a Pill Addiction," 12 July 2015 The film is beautifully made, from the sound design to the editing (waiting for a phone to ring has never felt so excruciating). Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "The Guilty Is A Riveting Thriller About a Police Call Gone Wrong," 19 Oct. 2018 Unlike Mercury, which temporarily screws up expression, Mars retrograde can actually be a lot more excruciating. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Cancer Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 The first was a priest in Springfield county who developed this excruciating toothache. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "A history of body horrors from distended scrotums to exploding teeth," 6 Dec. 2018 The measure tasks a state agency with studying uranium-processing operations and tailings storage in excruciating detail. WSJ, "Virginia Ignores Clear Federal Uranium Law," 25 Nov. 2018 On Thursday, 33-year-old Dominique Norton of Aberdeen, endured an excruciating wait of nearly two hours to be reunited with her mother, 62-year-old warehouse worker Irene Norton. David Mcfadden And Michael Kunzelman, Fox News, "4 dead, including suspect, after Maryland warehouse shooting," 21 Sep. 2018 This year, however, the wait for Android Pie might not be so excruciating. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Android 9 Pie is here: What's new, what's awesome, and how to get it now," 6 Aug. 2018 Over the past two seasons, Huntington Beach High's softball team has experienced some of the most excruciating ways to see a season end. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Huntington Beach softball loses at Norco after overturned call in ninth inning," 25 May 2018

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

Share excruciating

Statistics for excruciating

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for excruciating

The first known use of excruciating was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excruciating



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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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