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From Ancient Greek ἀγωνία (agōnía, emulation, competition, struggle), from ἀγών (agṓn, contest).


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


agony (countable and uncountable, plural agonies)

  1. Violent contest or striving.
    The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations. —Thomas Babington Macaulay.
  2. Pain so extreme as to cause writhing or contortions of the body, similar to those made in the athletic contests in Greece; and hence, extreme pain of mind or body; anguish; paroxysm of grief; specifically, the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
    Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly. —Luke xxii. 44.
  3. Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.
    With cries and agonies of wild delight. —Alexander Pope.
  4. The last struggle of life; death struggle.



Related terms[edit]


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