- 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 for agony on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for agonies
John B. Judis, The New Republic The agonies and ecstasy of a permanent Democratic majority.The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for November 24, 2012
November 24, 2012
A year ago, Nick Hornby was suffering the agonies of the first-time screenwriter.Nick Hornby's Oscar Insta-Buzz
October 9, 2009
Sidney's half-days at home were occasions for agonies of jealousy on Carlotta's part.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Officious kindness, which often soothes the agonies of death, was denied her.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
It is an old trick to say that poets are mad,—you mistake our agonies for insanity.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
On what agonies of creative and original minds is the safety of their homes based?Albert Durer
T. Sturge Moore
It had been made in agonies of hunger and thirst, which had nearly robbed him of his life.Murder Point
- 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 agonies
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.