tribulation

noun
trib·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌtri-byə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce tribulation (audio) \

Definition of tribulation

: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution also : a trying experience the trials and tribulations of starting a new business

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IT's Not Hard to Learn About Tribulation

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."

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.

Recent Examples on the Web

Smith and bassist Eric Bass (who produced the new record) went deep on the crowd-pleasing rock band’s new album, and the personal tribulations that led them to explore such an introspective approach. Chris Payne, Billboard, "#AlternativeFacts Podcast: The Darkness That Drove Shinedown's Most Personal Album Yet (And What's Next)," 22 May 2018 Tune into see the trials and tribulations of all the Reagans on Blue Bloods, every Friday at 10 p.m. EST on CBS. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Star Tom Selleck Confirms If Frank Reagan Will Date a Woman From His Past," 8 Feb. 2019 Down the ages, everyone's had their own trials and tribulations. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lana Del Rey Is Drinking Wheat Grass, Taking Spin Classes, Being Extra, and Loving It," 7 Feb. 2019 Recently, Ruiz made her acting debut, guest-starring on FX’s Sons of Anarchy spin-off Mayans M.C., centered around the trials and tribulations of a Latinx biker gang. Jasmin Hernandez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nomi Ruiz on Making Art That Means Something," 17 Jan. 2019 NYPD Blue first premiered in 1993, and followed the trials and tribulations of a fictional police squad in New York City. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'NYPD Blue' Casts Two of the Show's Original Actors for the Reboot," 9 Jan. 2019 Since the show went off air 14 years ago, by now Lizzie and her crew would be around 30, dealing with the trials and tribulations of early adulthood. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Hillary Duff Just Pretty Much Confirmed a Lizzie McGuire Reboot is Happening," 31 Dec. 2018 Decades later, the trials and tribulations continue there. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Dandelions Ruin Your Front Yard but Could Be the Future of the Rubber Industry," 2 Oct. 2018 However, the teaser also depicts the dark side of the 71-year-old star, as well as the trials and tribulations that come with being a famous artist. Fox News, "Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' drops first teaser trailer," 1 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tribulation.' 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 tribulation

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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 throw entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near tribulation

tribrom-

tribromide

tribulate

tribulation

Tribulus

tribuna

tribunal

Statistics for tribulation

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tribulation

The first known use of tribulation was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for tribulation

tribulation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tribulation

formal
: unhappiness, pain, or suffering
: an experience that causes someone to suffer

tribulation

noun
trib·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌtri-byə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce tribulation (audio) \

Kids Definition of tribulation

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.

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