- extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering.
- a display or outburst of intense mental or emotional excitement: an agony of joy.
- the struggle preceding natural death: mortal agony.
- a violent struggle.
- (often initial capital letter) Theology. the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
Origin of agony
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for agony
Truth be told, there is no one better at capturing the agony and alarm of a woman in the throes of a nervous breakdown than Moore.Julianne Moore Is Oscar Gold in ‘Still Alice’
December 24, 2014
The agony of being so close to our goal but failing gnaws at our insides while we replay the events over and over in our heads.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
Animals in agony or danger are used by Martin Wittfooth, often to hint at the future of the human condition.Trading Dime Bags for Salvador Dali
October 19, 2014
Murray lost 6-1 7-6, 6-2 as Kate and William grimaced and groaned in agony with the rest of the nation.Murray Crashes Out Of Wimbledon As Kate And William Watch
July 2, 2014
Epic heroes, doom-struck warriors, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.Was Aaron Harrison’s Game-Winning Three-Pointer ‘Clutch’?
April 7, 2014
With parched throats, gasping for breath, they lay back in agony.Brave and Bold
He awaited, in an agony of suspense, the rattle of the musketry.The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
And she had died in agony, so that she, Harriett, might keep her hundred pounds.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Agony by agony, something is gained, and my personal agony counts with the rest.The Conquest of Fear
"Hear me," he went on, in an agony of entreaty mingled with something like anger.Weighed and Wanting
- acute physical or mental pain; anguish
- the suffering or struggle preceding death
- pile on the agony, put on the agony or turn on the agony British informal to exaggerate one's distress for sympathy or greater effect
- (modifier) relating to or advising on personal problems about which people have written to the mediaagony column; agony writer
Word Origin and History for agony
late 14c., "mental suffering" (especially that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane), from Old French agonie, agoine "anguish, terror, death agony" (14c.), and directly from Late Latin agonia, from Greek agonia "a (mental) struggle for victory," originally "a struggle for victory in the games," from agon "assembly for a contest," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Sense of "extreme bodily suffering" first recorded c.1600.