Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near agony

Cite this Entry

“Agony.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/agony. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

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