agony

[ag-uh-nee]
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; Middle English agonye (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin agōnia < Greek, equivalent to agṓn agon + -ia -y3


1. anguish, torment, torture. See pain. 2. paroxysm.


1. comfort, ease, pleasure.
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World English Dictionary
agony (ˈæɡənɪ)
 
n , pl -nies
1.  acute physical or mental pain; anguish
2.  the suffering or struggle preceding death
3.  informal (Brit) 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
 
[C14: via Late Latin from Greek agōnia struggle, from agōn contest]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

agony
late 14c., "mental suffering" (esp. that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane), from L.L. agonia, from Gk. 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). Sense of
"extreme bodily suffering" first recorded c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Agony definition


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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Example sentences
Essentially, a pain-causing feedback loop was set in motion, creating the agony
  of a migraine.
The torment and torture, and pain and agony, the suffering.
Nothing in my life had prepared me for this intense agony.
The old sports cliché— the thrill of victory and the agony of
  defeat .
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