shock·​ing | \ ˈshä-kiŋ How to pronounce shocking (audio) \

Definition of shocking

: extremely startling, distressing, or offensive shocking news

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Other Words from shocking

shockingly \ ˈshä-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce shockingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of shocking in a Sentence

The number of young teenagers who smoke is shocking. a shocking waste of money The building is in a shocking state.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Just two days after Luke Perry's death at age 52, his two children, Jack and Sophie, have posted on their social media accounts to give tribute to their father — and to express their surprise and agony at the shocking tragedy. Kaitlin Menza, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's Children Posted Tributes to Their Dad on Instagram," 6 Mar. 2019 The final scene of this episode is so shocking to watch. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Actor Richard Rankin Weighs in on Roger's Role in Tonight's Shocking Final Scene," 21 Jan. 2019 In today's world of over-the-top gender reveals, this reasoning is refreshing and, to be honest, not completely shocking coming from the Duchess of Sussex. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Don't Know the Sex of Their Baby Yet," 14 Jan. 2019 While the red hot number may not seem risqué today in a world of leotards and foam fingers, Reba's infamous dress was quite shocking in the early '90s. Fox News, "9 of country music's most shocking moments," 4 Oct. 2018 Few things have the potential to be as shocking as looking at your skin in a lighted magnifying mirror. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "How to Treat Broken Capillaries on Your Face — and Prevent Them in the First Place," 27 Sep. 2018 And, shocking to anyone who regularly watches Bravo, her friends respect that. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Everybody Loves Brittany," 20 Dec. 2018 There was much more to the shocking defeat of Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "3 winners and 2 losers from the primaries in South Carolina, New York, Utah, and Colorado," 27 June 2018 World Cup: Germany hopes to bounce back; Mexico faces South Korea After a shocking opening round defeat to Mexico, Germany gets a shot at redemption versus Sweden on Saturday (2 p.m. ET). Editors, USA TODAY, "Saudi women drivers, Tennessee Pride, World Cup and 5 things to know this weekend," 23 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of shocking

1655, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for shocking

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shocking

The first known use of shocking was in 1655

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More Definitions for shocking



English Language Learners Definition of shocking

: very surprising and upsetting or causing a sudden feeling of horror or disgust
chiefly British, informal : very bad


shock·​ing | \ ˈshä-kiŋ How to pronounce shocking (audio) \

Kids Definition of shocking

1 : causing surprise, horror, or disgust shocking news
2 : being intense or bright in color shocking pink boots

Other Words from shocking

shockingly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on shocking

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shocking

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shocking

Spanish Central: Translation of shocking

Nglish: Translation of shocking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shocking for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shocking

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

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