- extremely disturbing or distressing; grievous: a harrowing experience.
Origin of harrowing
SynonymsSee more synonyms for harrowing on Thesaurus.com
- an agricultural implement with spikelike teeth or upright disks, drawn chiefly over plowed land to level it, break up clods, root up weeds, etc.
- to draw a harrow over (land).
- to disturb keenly or painfully; distress the mind, feelings, etc., of.
- to become broken up by harrowing, as soil.
Origin of harrow1
- to ravish; violate; despoil.
- harry(def 2).
- (of Christ) to descend into (hell) to free the righteous held captive.
Origin of harrow2
Examples from the Web for harrowing
As the year draws to a close, these goals remain unfulfilled and the news from CAR continues to be harrowing.The Year’s Most Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis
January 1, 2015
She also tracks his deteriorating health through the harrowing videos of the captives regularly released by the Nusra Front.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
On Thursday, Detective Superintendent McDonald described his account as “harrowing” and compelling.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys
December 18, 2014
Court painter to the Spanish Crown, he is perhaps best known for his harrowing Disasters of War series.The Best Coffee Table Books of 2014
December 13, 2014
The music was, as he describes it, “harrowing, beautiful, terrifying.”Death Metal Angola: Heavy Metal in War-Torn Africa
November 21, 2014
This experience was harrowing, but it prepared his mind for the seeds of wisdom.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
So ended that chapter in the harrowing history of Murray Davenport.The Mystery of Murray Davenport
Robert Neilson Stephens
The scene was harrowing, and only two of its incidents are material to this history.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
The Irish farmer is with the poet, who hits his harrowing anguish to a hair.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
We will not dwell upon the harrowing events of the next few days.The Masked Bridal
Mrs. Georgie Sheldon
- any of various implements used to level the ground, stir the soil, break up clods, destroy weeds, etc, in soil
- (tr) to draw a harrow over (land)
- (intr) (of soil) to become broken up through harrowing
- (tr) to distress; vex
- to plunder or ravish
- (of Christ) to descend into (hell) to rescue righteous souls
- a borough of NW Greater London; site of an English boys' public school founded in 1571 at Harrow-on-the-Hill, a part of this borough. Pop: 210 700 (2003 est). Area: 51 sq km (20 sq miles)
Word Origin and History for harrowing
"extremely distressing, painful," 1799 (implied in harrowingly), from present participle of harrow (v.).