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 Equally shocking was Germany’s April PMI of 17.1, where analysts had expected 31.0. David Meyer, Fortune, "The coronavirus crisis is increasing overdue payments," 23 Apr. 2020 One thing to remember is that the news selectively depicts stockpiling stories, presenting audiences with the most shocking cases. Stephanie Preston, The Conversation, "Your brain evolved to hoard supplies and shame others for doing the same," 27 Mar. 2020 From that point on, the case would only get more shocking and disturbing. Greg Hanlon,, "A Church Deacon Was Murdered and His Estranged Wife Was Shot — But Who Pulled the Trigger?," 3 Jan. 2020 The violence was both shocking and banal: This is what happens when an affinity for oddballs becomes an acceptance of lunatics and nihilists. John J. Miller, National Review, "Andy Warhola’s Religion," 19 Dec. 2019 At the beginning of the film, directed by Laurent Bouzereau, Wood’s older daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, describes hearing, at age eleven, of her mother’s shocking and mysterious death, in 1981. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The New Natalie Wood Documentary Doesn’t Have the Answers," 5 May 2020 Milford High School 2017 graduate Jack Hannah returned home to Cincinnati after a shocking and disappointing end to his 2020 lacrosse season at the University of Denver. Olivia Craycraft,, "Milford grad Jack Hannah's lacrosse season with nationally-ranked Denver ends abruptly," 4 Apr. 2020 The mother of four said the news was shocking and distressing. Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple Commits to Paying Contractors After Some Were Told They’d Lose Work," 31 Mar. 2020 Queen Elizabeth II and her family came together for the first time since a series of shocking decisions splattered the image of the world's most famous royal clan. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Queen Elizabeth and Will, Kate, Harry and Meghan reunite at Commonwealth Day service," 9 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shocking

Time Traveler

The first known use of shocking was in 1655

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Statistics for shocking

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shocking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for shocking


How to pronounce shocking (audio)

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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Comments on shocking

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