involving or accompanied by agony or severe struggle: an agonized effort.

Origin of agonized

First recorded in 1575–85; agonize + -ed2
Related formsag·o·niz·ed·ly [ag-uh-nahy-zid-lee] /ˈæg əˌnaɪ zɪd li/, adverb



verb (used without object), ag·o·nized, ag·o·niz·ing.

to suffer extreme pain or anguish; be in agony.
to put forth great effort of any kind.

verb (used with object), ag·o·nized, ag·o·niz·ing.

to distress with extreme pain; torture.
Also especially British, ag·o·nise.

Origin of agonize

1575–85; < Medieval Latin agōnizāre < Greek agōnízesthai to struggle (for a prize), equivalent to agōn- agon + -izesthai -ize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for agonized

Contemporary Examples of agonized

Historical Examples of agonized

  • No leisure is here, only quivering, intense, agonized anxiety.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • But in his doctrine of spiritual integrity, in the agonized utterance, "Be true—be true!"

  • She seemed to have aged ten years from the hours of agonized weeping.


    Emile Zola

  • But, little by little, his face resumed an agonized expression.


    Emile Zola

  • He had answered his call, praying him in an agonized voice to descend and rescue him.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

British Dictionary definitions for agonized




to suffer or cause to suffer agony
(intr) to make a desperate effort; struggle; strive
Derived Formsagonizingly or agonisingly, adverb

Word Origin for agonize

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

Word Origin and History for agonized



1580s, "to torture," from Middle French agoniser or directly from Medieval Latin agonizare, from Greek agonizesthai "to contend in the struggle" (see agony). Intransitive sense of "to suffer physical pain" is recorded from 1660s. That of "to worry intensely" is from 1853. Related: Agonized; agonizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper