Synonyms & Antonyms of agony

1 a situation or state that causes great suffering and unhappiness
  • waiting all those hours to hear if he'd survived the plane crash was pure agony

Synonyms for agony

Words Related to agony

Near Antonyms for agony

Antonyms for agony

2 a state of great suffering of body or mind
  • the agony of never knowing what happened to her son

Synonyms for agony

Words Related to agony

Near Antonyms for agony

3 a sudden intense expression of strong feeling
  • the announcement that the war was over unleashed a mass agony of joy

Synonyms for agony

Words Related to agony

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About agony

How does the noun agony differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of agony are distress, misery, and suffering. While all these words mean "the state of being in great trouble," agony suggests pain too intense to be borne.

in agony over the death of their child

Where would distress be a reasonable alternative to agony?

The words distress and agony are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress.

the hurricane put everyone in great distress

When is it sensible to use misery instead of agony?

The meanings of misery and agony largely overlap; however, misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss.

the homeless live with misery every day

When is suffering a more appropriate choice than agony?

In some situations, the words suffering and agony are roughly equivalent. However, suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress.

the suffering of famine victims

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About agony

Time Traveler for agony

Time Traveler

The first known use of agony was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near agony




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Agony.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on agony

Nglish: Translation of agony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of agony for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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