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

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 commonly used as a plural noun, paired with trials, and relates less to oppression and more to any kind of uphill struggle. Tribulation comes from a Latin 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 Families are made – and sometimes made stronger –through trials, tribulation, recognizing human frailty, and - when tested – choosing love and loyalty. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 17 Apr. 2022 Families are made — and sometimes made stronger — through trials, tribulation, recognizing human frailty, and — when tested — choosing love and loyalty. Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2022 Families are made — and sometimes made stronger —through trials, tribulation, recognizing human frailty, and – when tested — choosing love and loyalty. cleveland, 17 Apr. 2022 Families are made — and sometimes made stronger —through trials, tribulation, recognizing human frailty, and – when tested — choosing love and loyalty. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 17 Apr. 2022 Families are made — and sometimes made stronger —through trials, tribulation, recognizing human frailty, and – when tested — choosing love and loyalty. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, 17 Apr. 2022 Although my beginning was marked by tribulation, my life is about triumph. Essence, 14 Feb. 2022 And that has powered him through tribulation and triumph over his young life. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Dec. 2021 Then the coronavirus slips in, invisible, searching out the vulnerable, culminating in a harrowing depiction of Covid delirium and tribulation. New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About tribulation

Time Traveler for tribulation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About tribulation

Dictionary Entries Near tribulation

tribulate

tribulation

Tribulus

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tribulation

Cite this Entry

“Tribulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tribulation. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for tribulation

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on tribulation

Nglish: Translation of tribulation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tribulation for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!