ex·​cru·​ci·​ate ik-ˈskrü-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce excruciate (audio)
excruciated; excruciating

transitive verb

: to inflict intense pain on : torture
: to subject to intense mental distress
excruciation noun

Example Sentences

she has long been excruciated by an undiagnosed pain in her knee
Recent Examples on the Web Her daughter Kaitlyn, 13, suffers from juvenile inflammatory arthritis and an immune deficiency, which cause excruciating joint pain that often leaves her bedridden or reliant on a wheelchair to get around. Anahad O’connor, New York Times, 28 May 2020 For example, a person with a hernia who infrequently experiences minor discomfort likely wouldn't be as much of a priority as someone with a hernia that causes excruciating pain every day. Perry Vandell, azcentral, 25 Apr. 2020 Exposed, incapacitated, and in excruciating pain, laboring moms rely on other people—doctors, nurses, midwives, doulas, and especially their partners—for help and support. Minhae Shim Roth, Glamour, 1 Apr. 2020 For people who struggle with sobriety, for whom isolation is excruciating and group support essential, the ban on group gatherings to combat the spread of the coronavirus is pure hell. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2020 Among other problems the inspection report listed: One resident with a fractured pelvis spent hours in excruciating pain because workers didn’t get the person medications. oregonlive, 24 Apr. 2020 Sometimes their grandchildren are excruciated and appalled by what’s meant to be lightly funny. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020 One poor woman is left in excruciating pain for 24 hours, and Meredith’s ex-boyfriend Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) accuses the relative of a patient of being a human trafficker. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 20 Mar. 2020 As part of that process, said Dr. Barbot, a person is asked in excruciating detail to account for their time in 15-minute intervals. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Latin excruciatus, past participle of excruciare, from ex- + cruciare to crucify, from cruc-, crux cross

First Known Use

circa 1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of excruciate was circa 1570

Dictionary Entries Near excruciate

Cite this Entry

“Excruciate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excruciate. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

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