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harrowing

[har-oh-ing]
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adjective
  1. extremely disturbing or distressing; grievous: a harrowing experience.
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Origin of harrowing

First recorded in 1800–10; harrow1 + -ing2
Related formshar·row·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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painful, agonizing, tormenting, heartbreaking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for harrowingly

harrowing

adj.

"extremely distressing, painful," 1799 (implied in harrowingly), from present participle of harrow (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper