[syn: agony, suffering, excruciation]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Agony \Ag"o*ny\, n.; pl. Agonies. [L. agonia, Gr. ?, orig. a
contest, fr. ?: cf. F. agonie. See Agon.]
1. Violent contest or striving.
The world is convulsed by the agonies of great
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
3. Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.
With cries and agonies of wild delight. --Pope.
4. The last struggle of life; death struggle.
Syn: Anguish; torment; throe; distress; pangs; suffering.
Usage: Agony, Anguish, Pang. These words agree in
expressing extreme pain of body or mind. Agony denotes
acute and permanent pain, usually of the whole
system., and often producing contortions. Anguish
denotes severe pressure, and, considered as bodily
suffering, is more commonly local (as anguish of a
wound), thus differing from agony. A pang is a
paroxysm of excruciating pain. It is severe and
transient. The agonies or pangs of remorse; the
anguish of a wounded conscience. "Oh, sharp convulsive
pangs of agonizing pride!" --Dryden.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical
pain; "an agony of doubt"; "the torments of the damned"
[syn: agony, torment, torture]
2: a state of acute pain [syn: agony, suffering,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
72 Moby Thesaurus words for "agony":
aching heart, affliction, agonizingness, agony of mind, anguish,
atrocious pain, bale, bitterness, bleeding heart, broken heart,
care, carking care, crucifixion, crushing, death agonies,
death groan, death rattle, death struggle, death throes, deathbed,
deathwatch, depression, depth of misery, desolateness, desolation,
despair, distress, dolor, dying breath, excruciatingness,
excruciation, extremity, final extremity, grief, heartache,
heartbreak, heartfelt grief, heartgrief, heartsickness,
heavy heart, infelicity, lamentation, languishment, last agony,
last breath, last gasp, martyrdom, martyrization, melancholia,
melancholy, misery, moribundity, pain, pangs, passion, pining,
prostration, rack, sadness, sorrow, sorrowing, suffering,
suicidal despair, throes, throes of death, torment, tormentingness,
torture, torturousness, trouble, woe, wretchedness
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering.
Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while
agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only
used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's
fearful struggle in Gethsemane.
The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to
denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to
enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize]
(John 18:36). Comp. 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2
Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict,"
"fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.