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 shocking (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 There are sure to be more shocking revelations, tense standoffs, elaborate disguises, and the same sleight of hand that made the earliest episodes so irresistible. Radhika Seth, Vogue, "The 5 Most Anticipated Netflix Releases This Summer," 1 May 2021 Against this background, Eleftheriou continues his exposé of egregious App Store scams and the examples are only getting more shocking. Gordon Kelly, Forbes, "Apple Insider Confirms New Warning Affecting All iPhone Users," 20 Apr. 2021 The fate of Sarah Everard is all the more shocking because the suspect charged Friday with abducting and killing her is a U.K. police officer whose job was protecting politicians and diplomats. Fox News, "UK policeman charged with London woman's murder, scheduled to appear in court," 13 Mar. 2021 But as earth-shaking as that Diana conversation was at the time, this one seemed even more shocking because, unlike Diana, Meghan didn’t make these statements by herself. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Why We Watched Oprah Interview Meghan and Harry," 9 Mar. 2021 In one of the more shocking revelations from the Oprah special, Harry and Megan revealed that members of the Royal Family were concerned about son’s skin color, even before he was born. Tim Chan, Rolling Stone, "‘Were You Silent or Silenced?’ The 5 Biggest Reveals from Harry and Meghan’s Oprah Interview," 8 Mar. 2021 Perhaps more shocking is that the low GPA put France's son near the top half of this class. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Public hearing looms for school with abysmal pandemic GPA," 6 Mar. 2021 Perhaps more shocking than his matter-of-fact declaration was the lack of objection. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, "Stand Athwart the Secular Transgender Movement," 1 Mar. 2021 Even more shocking, the average household income for Ironman participants is $247,000—no wonder, considering how quickly equipment and race fees add up. Tonya Russell,, "10 Black-Owned Fitness Brands to Support During Black History Month and Beyond," 19 Feb. 2021

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

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shocking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on shocking

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