Definition of tribulation
: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution; also : a trying experience the trials and tribulations of starting a new business
tribulation was our Word of the Day on 02/13/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of tribulation in a sentence
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.
Did You Know?
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."
Origin and Etymology of tribulation
Middle English tribulacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin tribulation-, tribulatio, from tribulare to press, oppress, from tribulum drag used in threshing, from terere to rub — more at 1throw
First Known Use: 13th century
TRIBULATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tribulation for English Language Learners
: unhappiness, pain, or suffering
: an experience that causes someone to suffer
TRIBULATION Defined for Kids
Definition of tribulation for Students
1 : an experience that is hard to bear He suffered many trials and tribulations.
2 : distress or suffering resulting from cruel and unjust treatment or misfortune Her son's illness has been a source of tribulation.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up tribulation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).