Agonizing



accompanied by, filled with, or resulting in or distress:
We spent an agonizing hour waiting to hear if the accident had been serious or not.
to suffer extreme pain or anguish; be in .
to put forth great effort of any kind.
to distress with extreme pain; torture.
Contemporary Examples

And so a writer of books in 2012 faces an agonizing choice: join the pioneers — or adhere to the tried and true?
Why My Next E-Book Will Be About Iraq David Frum May 18, 2012

Here’s Kanye West’s agonizing apology to Taylor Swift, as given to Jay Leno on the premiere episode of The Jay Leno Show.
Kanye West Apologizes The Daily Beast September 13, 2009

It catalogues a massive but doomed police investigation through its agonizing near-misses and mistaken hunches.
A Horror Story of True-Life Anti-Semitism in France Tracy McNicoll April 27, 2014

Every parent, including me, has been agonizing over how our schools can be made safer.
After Newtown, Can We Make Our Schools Safe? Lauren Ashburn December 17, 2012

And with the agonizing slow rise in retail sales, it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Companies Must Get Smarter About Hiring and Nurturing Part-Time Workers Adam Lewis September 25, 2013

Historical Examples

He could not—when it came to the agonizing point—he could not face Nicky.
The Creators May Sinclair

But where was the mother during these fearful and agonizing moments!
Graham’s Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848 Various

But to go into details—to relate the minutiae—is too agonizing!
History of the Donner Party C.F. McGlashan

Nan, agonizing in her suspense, cried out she must join him and go with him if he went.
Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman

She loves Russia,—our poor Russia, agonizing in the throes of a new birth; while we—we love her, the woman.
The Red Symbol John Ironside

verb
to suffer or cause to suffer agony
(intransitive) to make a desperate effort; struggle; strive
v.

1580s, “to torture,” from Middle French agoniser or directly from Medieval Latin agonizare, from Greek agonizesthai “to contend in the struggle” (see agony). Intransitive sense of “to suffer physical pain” is recorded from 1660s. That of “to worry intensely” is from 1853. Related: Agonized; agonizing.

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    accompanied by, filled with, or resulting in or distress: We spent an agonizing hour waiting to hear if the accident had been serious or not. Contemporary Examples Heartsick, depressed, agonizingly lonely, she would disappear for days behind her locked bedroom doors. New Questions Arise About Mary Richardson Kennedy’s Suicide Nancy Collins May 15, 2013 The […]

  • Agony column

    a section or column in a newspaper containing advertisements by individuals seeking missing relatives or lost pets or possessions, announcing the end of a marriage, etc. Contemporary Examples Reynolds wrote an agony column, “Susan Chester Heart-to-Heart Letters,” for the Brooklyn Eagle. American Dreams, 1933: Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West Nathaniel Rich April 28, 2013 Historical […]



  • Agony aunt

    noun (sometimes capital) a person who writes the replies to readers’ letters in an agony column Gender-netural form advice columnist noun an advice columnist for a periodical or media program Examples Ann Landers and Dear Abby are agony aunts. Word Origin from ‘agony’ as personal problems and ‘aunt’ for one offering comfort and advice Usage […]

  • Agony uncle

    noun (sometimes capital) a man who writes the replies to readers’ letters in an agony column Gender-netural form advice columnist



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