follow Dictionary.com

Hone in vs. home in? What's the difference?

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 of agony
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. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for agony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was such an agony of supplication in her voice and her attitude, that Pascal was touched.

    The Count's Millions Emile Gaboriau
  • He awaited, in an agony of suspense, the rattle of the musketry.

  • "There's nothing more you can do I care for now," she broke out with a look of agony.

    Willing to Die Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • agony by agony, something is gained, and my personal agony counts with the rest.

  • For His work's sake, His soul was required to pass through the agony of losing every human consolation.

    Our Master Bramwell Booth
British Dictionary definitions for agony

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source
agony 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for agony

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for agony

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for agony