Definition of ordeal
1 : a primitive means used to determine guilt or innocence by submitting the accused to dangerous or painful tests believed to be under supernatural control ordeal by fire ordeal by water
2 : a severe trial or experience Being trapped in an elevator was a harrowing ordeal for the shoppers.
Examples of ordeal in a Sentence
the hikers were finally rescued after a three-day ordeal in the wilderness
Recent Examples of ordeal from the Web
The teen was conscious and able to communicate during the ordeal, police said.
When the ordeal was over, and Hernandez had run off, the woman was able to flag down someone to help her and called police.
While that brings Greece a small step closer to the end of an eight-year ordeal, the...
The Greenville News and Independent Mail do not typically name victims of sexual assault, but Brown has openly spoken of her ordeal in a national television interview.
He also is seen pointing the gun at her during the ordeal, police said.
But authorities have rejected the militants' claim, saying there is no evidence to back it and pointing out that the assailant shot no civilians during the two-hour ordeal despite being heavily armed.
The Bowmans recently spoke about their ordeal and the role families play in the recovery from major injuries.
The case against him ultimately collapsed - Drake pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 2011 - and his ordeal is seen by civil liberty advocates as emblematic of over-aggressive targeting of whistleblowers by the federal government.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ordeal'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
ORDEAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ordeal for English Language Learners
: an experience that is very unpleasant or difficult
ORDEAL Defined for Kids
Definition of ordeal for Students
: a severe test or experience
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