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agony

[ag-uh-nee] /ˈæg ə ni/
noun, plural agonies.
1.
extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering.
2.
a display or outburst of intense mental or emotional excitement:
an agony of joy.
3.
the struggle preceding natural death:
mortal agony.
4.
a violent struggle.
5.
(often initial capital letter) Theology. the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English agonye (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin agōnia < Greek, equivalent to agṓn agon + -ia -y3
Synonyms
1. anguish, torment, torture. See pain. 2. paroxysm.
Antonyms
1. comfort, ease, pleasure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for agonies

agony

/ˈæɡənɪ/
noun (pl) -nies
1.
acute physical or mental pain; anguish
2.
the suffering or struggle preceding death
3.
(Brit, informal) pile on the agony, put on the agony, turn on the agony, to exaggerate one's distress for sympathy or greater effect
4.
(modifier) relating to or advising on personal problems about which people have written to the media agony column, agony writer
Word Origin
C14: via Late Latin from Greek agōnia struggle, from agōn contest
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
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Word Origin and History for agonies

agony

n.

late 14c., "mental suffering" (especially that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane), from Old French agonie, agoine "anguish, terror, death agony" (14c.), and directly from Late Latin agonia, from Greek agonia "a (mental) struggle for victory," originally "a struggle for victory in the games," from agon "assembly for a contest," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Sense of "extreme bodily suffering" first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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agonies in the Bible

contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane. The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Comp. 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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