shock·​ing ˈshä-kiŋ How to pronounce shocking (audio)
: extremely startling, distressing, or offensive
shocking news
shockingly 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.
Recent Examples on the Web The delegation from Israel was also outraged by a shocking indignity immediately after the interview outside Central Synagogue in Manhattan. Kerry J. Byrne Fox News, Fox News, 26 Nov. 2023 To say this was shocking is an understatement; Altman had just launched the fastest growing consumer tech product in history (ChatGPT), was in the process of leading the company to a soaring $85+ billion valuation, and was highly respected in and outside of the company. Bysage Lazzaro, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2023 These are the basics of 2023 Internet usage, and seeing any developer argue against them is shocking, especially when that developer also wants to be trusted with your Apple account. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 20 Nov. 2023 That young people in college are choosing to forgo digital connection is not as shocking as the study suggests, says Paul Eastwick, a psychologist at UC Davis who specializes in the nature of attraction. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 The beatific expression on his face was almost shocking. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2023 Below, the most shocking allegations in the committee’s report. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 That’s part of what was shocking, looking back on this. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 But yes, because the way that it was received was so shocking to me. Mesfin Fekadu, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shocking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1653, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shocking was in 1653

Dictionary Entries Near shocking

Cite this Entry

“Shocking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: causing horror or disgust
a shocking crime
shocking behavior
shockingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on shocking

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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