agony

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

14th century, via Old French [Term?] and Latin [Term?]; from Ancient Greek ἀγωνία (agōnía, emulation, competition, struggle), from ἀγών (agṓn, contest). Specifically of the struggle that precedes death (mortal agony) from the 1540s.

The sense of "extreme pain" from c. 1600.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæ.ɡə.niː/

Noun[edit]

agony (countable and uncountable, plural agonies)

  1. Extreme pain.
    When the weight fell on her foot, she cried out in agony.
  2. (biblical) The sufferings of Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
  3. Violent contest or striving.
  4. Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.
  5. The last struggle of life; death struggle.

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