[ trib-yuh-ley-shuhn ]
/ ˌtrɪb yəˈleɪ ʃən /


grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.
an instance of this; an affliction, trouble, etc.

Nearby words

  1. tribrach,
  2. tribrachia,
  3. tribromide,
  4. tribromoacetaldehyde,
  5. tribromoethanol,
  6. tribunal,
  7. tribunate,
  8. tribune,
  9. tribune group,
  10. tributary

Origin of tribulation

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin trībulātiōn- (stem of trībulātiō) distress, trouble, equivalent to trībulāt(us) (past participle of trībulāre to press, squeeze, derivative of trībulum threshing sledge, equivalent to trī-, variant stem of terere to rub, crush + -bulum noun suffix of instrument) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tribulation

British Dictionary definitions for tribulation


/ (ˌtrɪbjʊˈleɪʃən) /


a cause of distress
a state of suffering or distress

Word Origin for tribulation

C13: from Old French, from Church Latin trībulātiō, from Latin trībulāre to afflict, from trībulum a threshing board, from terere to rub

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 tribulation



early 13c., from Old French tribulacion (12c.), from Late Latin tribulationem (nominative tribulatio) "distress, trouble, affliction" (c.200), from tribulatus, past participle of tribulare "to oppress, afflict," a figurative use by Christian writers of Latin tribulare "to press," also possibly "to thresh out grain," from tribulum "threshing sledge," from stem of terere "to rub" (see throw (v.)) + -bulum, suffix forming names of tools.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper