extremely painful; causing intense suffering; unbearably distressing; torturing: an excruciating noise; excruciating pain.
exceedingly elaborate or intense; extreme: done with excruciating care.

Nearby words

  1. excretory duct,
  2. excretory ductule of lacrimal gland,
  3. excretory gland,
  4. excretory system,
  5. excruciate,
  6. excruciation,
  7. excubitorium,
  8. excud.,
  9. excudit,
  10. exculpable

Origin of excruciating

First recorded in 1655–65; excruciate + -ing2

Related formsex·cru·ci·at·ing·ly, adverbun·ex·cru·ci·at·ing, adjective



verb (used with object), ex·cru·ci·at·ed, ex·cru·ci·at·ing.

to inflict severe pain upon; torture: The headache excruciated him.
to cause mental anguish to; irritate greatly.

Origin of excruciate

1560–70; < Latin excruciātus, past participle of excruciāre to torment, torture, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + cruciāre to torment, crucify (derivative of crux cross); see -ate1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for excruciating

British Dictionary definitions for excruciating



unbearably painful; agonizing
intense; extremehe took excruciating pains to do it well
informal irritating; trying
jocular very badan excruciating pun
Derived Formsexcruciatingly, adverb


verb (tr)

to inflict mental suffering on; torment
obsolete to inflict physical pain on; torture
Derived Formsexcruciation, noun

Word Origin for excruciate

C16: from Latin excruciāre, from cruciāre to crucify, from crux cross

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 excruciating
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper