harrowing

[ har-oh-ing ]
/ ˈhær oʊ ɪŋ /

adjective

extremely disturbing or distressing; grievous: a harrowing experience.

Origin of harrowing

First recorded in 1800–10; harrow1 + -ing2

Related forms

har·row·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for harrowing (2 of 3)

harrow

1
[ har-oh ]
/ ˈhær oʊ /

noun

an agricultural implement with spikelike teeth or upright disks, drawn chiefly over plowed land to level it, break up clods, root up weeds, etc.

verb (used with object)

to draw a harrow over (land).
to disturb keenly or painfully; distress the mind, feelings, etc., of.

verb (used without object)

to become broken up by harrowing, as soil.

Origin of harrow

1
1250–1300; Middle English harwe; akin to Old Norse herfi harrow, Dutch hark rake, Greek krṓpion sickle

Related forms

har·row·er, noun

Definition for harrowing (3 of 3)

harrow

2
[ har-oh ]
/ ˈhær oʊ /

verb (used with object) Archaic.

to ravish; violate; despoil.
(of Christ) to descend into (hell) to free the righteous held captive.

Origin of harrow

2
before 1000; Middle English harwen, herwen, Old English hergian to harry

Related forms

har·row·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for harrowing

British Dictionary definitions for harrowing (1 of 3)

harrow

1
/ (ˈhærəʊ) /

noun

any of various implements used to level the ground, stir the soil, break up clods, destroy weeds, etc, in soil

verb

(tr) to draw a harrow over (land)
(intr) (of soil) to become broken up through harrowing
(tr) to distress; vex

Derived Forms

harrower, nounharrowing, adjective, noun

Word Origin for harrow

C13: of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish harv, Swedish harf; related to Middle Dutch harke rake

British Dictionary definitions for harrowing (2 of 3)

harrow

2
/ (ˈhærəʊ) /

verb (tr) archaic

to plunder or ravish
(of Christ) to descend into (hell) to rescue righteous souls

Derived Forms

harrowment, noun

Word Origin for harrow

C13: variant of Old English hergian to harry

British Dictionary definitions for harrowing (3 of 3)

Harrow

/ (ˈhærəʊ) /

noun

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)
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