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

The production of burgers should be restricted to the butchers of Hamburg, long ago deprived of their intellectual property by a shocking failure of linguistic regulation. The Economist, "Europe heroically defends itself against veggie burgers," 28 June 2019 Greenwold’s people can be violent, suicidal, rude, shocking, or reckless. Matthew Klam, The New Yorker, "The Weird, Violent, Uplifting Paintings of Mark Greenwold," 26 June 2019 Euphoria is shocking, often gratuitously so, for a number of reasons. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Why Is Nobody Talking About The Wildest Character In Euphoria?," 25 June 2019 As for the offices that are still behind the times: If otherwise healthy workers seem to fall prey to contaminated food with shocking regularity, take note. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why you should never tell the boss you have food poisoning," 21 June 2019 Engine is in mourning over this shocking, senseless tragedy. Chris Harris,, "N.J. Woman Goes on Lunch Break and Is Found Slain in Her Apartment Hours Later," 14 June 2019 To consider that Nigeria, infamous for anti-vaxx campaigns leading to polio outbreaks, has any lessons for Americans may be shocking. Shobana Shankar, Quartz Africa, "What the United States could learn from Nigeria about taking on anti-vaxxers," 7 June 2019 The photos from Mount Everest’s summit were shocking. Michael Kodas, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Mount Everest is packed. Whose fault is that?," 7 June 2019 The drama is high-stakes, the twists are actually shocking, and the dialogue is sharp. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix’s New Show Dead to Me Is Big Little Lies–Level Addicting," 3 May 2019

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

7 Jul 2019

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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
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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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