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  1. present participle of harrow


harrowing (comparative more harrowing, superlative most harrowing)

  1. Causing pain or distress.
    • 2006, Paul Chadwick, Concrete: Killer Smile, Dark Horse Books, cover text
      Harrowing journeys down the dark roads of anger, violence, and madness
    • 2013 January 1, Brian Hayes, “Father of Fractals”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 1, page 62:
      Toward the end of the war, Benoit was sent off on his own with forged papers; he wound up working as a horse groom at a chalet in the Loire valley. Mandelbrot describes this harrowing youth with great sangfroid.



harrowing (plural harrowings)

  1. The process of breaking up earth with a harrow.
    The field received two harrowings.
  2. Suffering, torment.
  3. Christ's triumphal descent into Hell.
    • 2002, Michael W. Herren & Shirley Ann Brown, Christ in Celtic Christianity: Britain and Ireland from the Fifth to the Tenth Century, →ISBN, page 157:
      The motif of the harrowing of hell was highly influential in the Insular world.
    • 2013, Robert E. Bjork, The Cynewulf Reader, →ISBN, page 153:
      But Juliana's uniquely powerful chaining of the devil is surely meant to recall Christ's harrowing of hell.
    • 1986, Jeffrey Burton Russell, Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages, →ISBN, page 108:
      In the harrowing, Christ sweeps down upon death, hell, and the Devil, smashes down the doors of hell, and triumphantly carries the just off to heaven.