[ ag-uh-nee ]
See synonyms for agony on
noun,plural ag·o·nies.
  1. extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering.

  2. a display or outburst of intense mental or emotional excitement: an agony of joy.

  1. the struggle preceding natural death: mortal agony.

  2. a violent struggle.

  3. Often Agony .Theology. the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.

Origin of agony

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English agonye (from Anglo-French ), from Late Latin agōnia, from Greek, equivalent to agṓn “struggle” + -ia noun suffix: see agon, -y3

synonym study For agony

1. See pain.

Other words for agony

Opposites for agony

Words Nearby agony Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use agony in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for agony


/ (ˈæɡənɪ) /

nounplural -nies
  1. acute physical or mental pain; anguish

  2. the suffering or struggle preceding death

  1. 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

  2. (modifier) relating to or advising on personal problems about which people have written to the media: agony column; agony writer

Origin of agony

C14: via Late Latin from Greek agōnia struggle, from agōn contest

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