noun, plural ag·o·nies.
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Origin of agony
SYNONYMS FOR agony ON THESAURUS.COM
synonym study for agony
Words nearby agony
What does agony mean?
Agony is extreme pain or suffering, especially the kind that lasts for a long time. The word anguish is a close synonym.
Agony can be physical or emotional. A person who has just broken their leg and a person who has just experienced the death of a loved one could both be said to be in agony—in a state of extreme pain or suffering.
However, agony is perhaps more commonly used in the context of emotional pain (in which case it often likens such suffering to intense physical pain).
The verb agonize can mean to be in agony, but it most commonly means to put forth a great effort—to struggle or strive, as in She’s been agonizing about what to get you for your birthday.
The adjective agonizing means filled with or resulting in agony, as in agonizing pain.
Agony also has a few other meanings that are much less common. It can mean an outburst of intense emotional excitement, even a positive one, as in an agony of joy. It can also mean an intense or violent struggle, as in He was in an agony of indecision. More specifically, it can refer to the struggle or suffering that precedes death.
Example: I hope you’ll never have to experience the sheer agony of losing a child.
Where does agony come from?
The first records of the word agony come from the 1300s. It comes from the Greek agōnia, meaning “struggle,” from agōn, “contest.”
Agony appears in the expression “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” which was used in the introduction of the long-running TV show titled Wide World of Sports. The phrase is typically used to contrast the range of intense emotions that can result from a competition that has winners and losers, such as a championship game or an election, with losing sometimes causing agony. Similarly, agony is sometimes contrasted with its extreme opposite, ecstasy—extreme pleasure or joy.
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What are some other forms related to agony?
What are some synonyms for agony?
What are some words that share a root or word element with agony?
What are some words that often get used in discussing agony?
How is agony used in real life?
Agony can refer to physical pain, but perhaps most commonly refers to emotional pain.
#21: I have broken my right leg twice: once at age 2 falling out a 2nd story window; again at 6 when hit by a car (femur). Level 11 agony.
— Ursus Draconosaur (@Thrashbear) July 10, 2011
Someone told me yesterday that the absolute refusal to ask for help even when you’re in agony is rooted in trauma and we have been conditioned to look at it as strength. My brain is still processing this.
— Nikita Gill (@nktgill) October 19, 2020
Ghosting is for cowards.
In relationships and in business.
Have the difficult conversation.
Allow yourself to be uncomfortable for a few minutes and spare someone else the agony of wondering where they went wrong.
— Natasha Link (@NatashaLink1) October 24, 2020
Try using agony!
Is agony used correctly in the following sentence?
The ecstasy of having won the election was soon replaced by the agony of realizing that the results were not correct.
Example sentences from the Web for agony
I once imagined the agony of illness being the greatest challenge I’d face as a doctor.Thank You for the 7 PM Clapping, But Camaraderie Is Needed More Than Ever - Facts So Romantic|Ayala Danzig|October 5, 2020|Nautilus
Twice, Raymond Jefferson’s service to his country left him in pain, agony and facing years of recovery.
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.
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|DAILY BEAST
Animals in agony or danger are used by Martin Wittfooth, often to hint at the future of the human condition.
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|Tom Sykes|July 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Epic heroes, doom-struck warriors, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.Was Aaron Harrison’s Game-Winning Three-Pointer ‘Clutch’?|Robert Silverman|April 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The road was almost impassable, and every jolt caused him agony.Captain Jinks, Hero|Ernest Crosby
"I don't see no sense in prolonging all this agony," averred his despondent companion.Blow The Man Down|Holman Day
The agony of her spirit, involved in endless and horrid labyrinths of doubt, is powerfully portrayed.The Life of Friedrich Schiller|Thomas Carlyle
Nature in an agony is no atheist; the soul that knows not where to fly, flies to God.Christianity and Greek Philosophy|Benjamin Franklin Cocker
She clung to him in an agony of dread lest he should go, and her sobs grew less frequent.The Master of the Ceremonies|George Manville Fenn