- Agony is defined as extraordinary, and often long term, physical or emotional pain.
An example of someone in a state of agony is a recent widow.
- The definition of agony refers to exhibiting extreme upset or sadness.
An example of agony is the defeat of an Olympic athlete.
This grieving woman is in agony.
- very great mental or physical pain
- death pangs
- a convulsive struggle
- a sudden, strong outburst (of emotion): an agony of joy
Origin of agonyMiddle English agonie ; from Classical Latin agonia ; from Classical Greek agōnia, a contest for victory ; from agōn, agon
- a. The suffering of intense physical or mental pain: The injured soldier writhed in agony.b. An instance of such suffering: the agonies of adolescence.
- A sudden or intense emotion: “Jones then fell upon his knees, and kissed her hand in an agony of joy” (Henry Fielding).
- A violent, intense struggle, especially the struggle that precedes death.
Origin of agonyMiddle English agonie, from Old French, from Late Latin agōnia, from Greek agōniā, from agōn, struggle, from agein, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European roots.
- Violent contest or striving.
- The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations. —Thomas Babington Macaulay.
- 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.
- Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.
- With cries and agonies of wild delight. —Alexander Pope.
- The last struggle of life; death struggle.
- (extreme pain): ecstasy
From Ancient Greek ἀγωνία (agonia, “emulation, competition, struggle”), from ἀγών (agon, “contest”).