Agony Ag"o*ny, n.; pl. {Agonies}. [L. agonia, Gr. ?, orig. a contest, fr. ?: cf. F. agonie. See {Agon}.] 1. Violent contest or striving. [1913 Webster]

The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly. --Luke xxii. 44. [1913 Webster]

3. Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion. [1913 Webster]

With cries and agonies of wild delight. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

4. The last struggle of life; death struggle. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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