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

In the most shocking moment from the entire episode, after hallucinating for like 45 straight minutes, Archie is found unresponsive by the park rangers who come to try to save him. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, ""Riverdale" Midseason Premiere's Most Shocking Moments," 17 Jan. 2019 In perhaps one of the most shocking results ever on the show, America's Got Talent contestant Courtney Hadwin did NOT make the top five finalists. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Fans Want to "Revolt" After Courtney Hadwin Didn't Win the Finale," 20 Sep. 2018 Yet despite the shocking results, the survey marked an improvement over last year, when 57 percent of Americans couldn’t name a single Supreme Court justice. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Name a Supreme Court justice? More than half of Americans can't, survey says," 30 Aug. 2018 The defeat was arguably the most shocking result of the tournament so far. David Harding,, "Argentina fans disappointed but still hopeful after Croatia loss," 22 June 2018 Generally speaking, the most shocking results require the most deplorable methods. Dylan Hernandez,, "Landon Donovan's heart was in the right place, but the U.S.-Mexico soccer rivalry is too intense," 20 June 2018 And the White House is expected, as soon as today, to formally call off military drills with South Korea, one of the more shocking results of the summit. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for June 14: Russia probe, interest rates, North Korea, migrants, World Cup," 14 June 2018 Elsewhere, a shocking-pink Astroturf lines the floor of a room debuting Jungle, a line of indoor-outdoor seating covered in an allover pink-and-green palm print. Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "The New Versace Home Collection Is the Fantasy of Our Candy-Colored, Neon-Tinged Dreams," 9 Apr. 2019 But the methods the company took were shocking, even to Gouthro, who in the article describes Tesla as significantly less professional than Facebook. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Claims Tesla Engaged in Lies, Threats to Stop Leaks," 13 Mar. 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

12 May 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 mark by some ceremony or observation

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