any extremely severe or trying test, experience, or trial.
a primitive form of trial to determine guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused person to fire, poison, or other serious danger, the result being regarded as a divine or preternatural judgment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ordeal in a sentence
After dragging it behind him with both hands, he smashes it through the rotted wood of the locked door and frees the girl, whom players of the first Little Nightmares will recognize as Six, the girl in the yellow raincoat who survived her own ordeal.‘Little Nightmares II’: A hypnotic, dark fairy tale | Christopher Byrd | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
Late as I was to a story unfolding under my nose, I was disappointed that the whole ordeal lacked any immediate drama.Bitcoin, stocks and crude take off as the markets brace for a wave of stimulus checks | Bernhard Warner | February 8, 2021 | Fortune
The Rochester community is outraged by the ordeal and is calling for all officers involved to be terminated.Rochester Police Suspended After Handcuffing and Pepper Spraying 9-Year-Old Girl | Shani Parrish | February 2, 2021 | Essence.com
Though Democrats seemed to be the most vocal during the ordeal, several Republicans also used Twitter to speak out.Congress members under siege in Capitol tweet their shock and frustration | Danielle Abril | January 6, 2021 | Fortune
While the quick action represents a victory for San Diegans’ civil rights, there are many troubling questions surrounding the ordeal that have not yet been answered – any maybe never will.
This is a new version of Catman, his past is yet to be told, but an ordeal made him not just badass, but flawed, deeply flawed.Gail Simone’s Bisexual Catman and the ‘Secret Six’ | Rich Goldstein | December 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Every visit to a hospital is an ordeal but for those who cannot pay for private care the experience is a horror show.
At no time during his ordeal was Turing able to publicly reveal the far greater secret that had framed his life since 1940.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero | Clive Irving | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Yet the entire ordeal opened up so many new possibilities, both for Dr. Grenci and those who followed her case.
“The whole ordeal gave me a thicker skin,” she said, reflecting on the incident.
So she did ask, though it was a great ordeal to make up her mind to do it; and they gave my mother a thousand francs.Rosemary in Search of a Father | C. N. Williamson
They will try to compel you to confession; and, though you are blameless, you will suffer the cruelest ordeal of transgression.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
But today—after that terrible ordeal, she felt as if life held little for her, that she was now unfit to perform any womanly duty.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
It seems that there must have been some supernatural power of support to have sustained children under so awful an ordeal.Madame Roland, Makers of History | John S. C. Abbott
More than once she resolved to tell her father her true feelings, but shrank from the ordeal.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for ordeal
a severe or trying experience
history a method of trial in which the guilt or innocence of an accused person was determined by subjecting him to physical danger, esp by fire or water. The outcome was regarded as an indication of divine judgment
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