[ ag-uh-nahyz ]
See synonyms for: agonizeagonizedagonizing on

verb (used without object),ag·o·nized, ag·o·niz·ing.
  1. to suffer extreme pain or anguish; be in agony.

  2. to put forth great effort of any kind.

verb (used with object),ag·o·nized, ag·o·niz·ing.
  1. to distress with extreme pain; torture.

Origin of agonize

1575–85; <Medieval Latin agōnizāre<Greek agōnízesthai to struggle (for a prize), equivalent to agōn-agon + -izesthai-ize
  • Also especially British, ag·o·nise . Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use agonize in a sentence

  • To the castaways every hour of that night is one of fear and agonising suspense.

    The Land of Fire | Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for agonize



/ (ˈæɡəˌnaɪz) /

  1. to suffer or cause to suffer agony

  2. (intr) to make a desperate effort; struggle; strive

Origin of agonize

C16: via Medieval Latin from Greek agōnizesthai to contend for a prize, from agōn agon

Derived forms of agonize

  • agonizingly or agonisingly, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012