Definition of tribulation
- the trials and tribulations of starting a new business
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Her son's illness has been a source of great tribulation.
The play is about the tribulations of a family of immigrants in New York.
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The writer and Christian scholar Thomas More, in his 1534 work A dialoge of comforte against tribulation, defined the title word as "euery such thing as troubleth and greueth [grieveth] a man either in bodye or mynde." These days, however, the word tribulation is typically used as a plural noun, paired with its alliterative partner trial, and relates less to oppression and more to any kind of uphill struggle. Tribulation derives via Middle English and Old French from the Latin verb tribulare ("to oppress or afflict"), which is related to tribulum, a noun meaning "threshing board."
: unhappiness, pain, or suffering
: an experience that causes someone to suffer
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