shock·​ing | \ˈshä-kiŋ \

Definition of shocking 

: extremely startling, distressing, or offensive shocking news

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Other Words from shocking

shockingly \ˈshä-​kiŋ-​lē \ 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

What makes this whole scandal so shocking to me is that this went on for 27 years. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Inside the USC Sexual Abuse Scandal: Three Women Tell Their Stories," 26 Oct. 2018 That intense competition between the coaches after Buck's audition made the results of Monday night's Battle Rounds even more shocking: The contestant was eliminated after Clarkson didn't choose him, and Shelton didn't save him. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Mikele Buck's Elimination From 'The Voice' Sparks Controversy: 'I'm Truly Shocked'," 23 Oct. 2018 Their surprising split culminated in a shocking confrontation last May when Tarek ran from their Orange County, California, home holding a firearm. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know On How Flip Or Flop Came To Be, According To Tarek El Moussa," 24 Aug. 2018 Pulisic could have been a breakout star at this summer's World Cup if the United States hadn't crashed out of qualifying last October with a shocking loss to last-place Trinidad and Tobago. Jamie Goldberg,, "As World Cup takes center stage, US Soccer must put failure aside and find a path forward," 11 June 2018 Yes, that's a very affordable, shocking, surprising price. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner Dyed Her Hair Pink with This $16 Tint," 21 Sep. 2018 And then Obama comes out and takes credit for it this week, which is truly shocking, right? Fox News, "George Papadopoulos on what he wants the American people to know," 12 Sep. 2018 Even more shocking: SpeedSource, which had run Mazda's US racing program in lower categories since 1995 with a fair amount of success, was dismissed too. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This isn’t a game: We try out a professional driver-in-the-loop simulator," 9 Aug. 2018 Perhaps the news that Drake broke records doesn’t feel that shocking, especially since his last projects — the mixtape-playlist More Life and his fourth studio album, Views — also racked up tremendous streaming records and sales in their own right., "Love It Or Hate It, You Listened: Drake Broke All The Streaming Records With Scorpion," 1 July 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

8 Dec 2018

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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

: very bad


shock·​ing | \ˈshä-kiŋ \

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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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