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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce excruciating (audio)

Dictionary definition of excruciating

Causing intense, unbearable pain, suffering, or discomfort.
"After she fell, her ankle throbbed with excruciating pain for hours."

Detailed meaning of excruciating

When we characterize an experience, sensation, or situation as excruciating, we emphasize the severity of the agony or distress it inflicts, often to the point where it becomes nearly unbearable. This term conveys a sense of extreme and prolonged suffering, whether it's physical pain, emotional anguish, or a combination of both. Excruciating pain can be excruciatingly sharp, persistent, or agonizing, and it can significantly impact a person's well-being and ability to function. Whether it's a dental procedure, an emotional loss, or a grueling physical challenge, this adjective underscores the overwhelming and distressing nature of the ordeal.

Example sentences containing excruciating

1. The pain in my back was excruciating beyond anything I've felt before.
2. The anxious wait for the test results felt excruciating for everyone.
3. The concert's noise level was excruciating, making my head pound severely.
4. His description of the accident was excruciating in its vivid detail.
5. The excruciating heat of the desert made our journey nearly unbearable.
6. Listening to his long speech was an excruciating exercise in patience.

History and etymology of excruciating

The adjective 'excruciating' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'excruciare,' which is formed from 'ex' (meaning 'out of' or 'thoroughly') and 'cruciare' (meaning 'to torture' or 'to crucify'). In its original Latin usage, 'excruciare' vividly conveyed the idea of extreme torment or suffering, often associated with the pain of crucifixion. As the word entered English, it retained this sense of causing intense, unbearable pain, suffering, or discomfort. 'Excruciating' aptly captures the notion of pain that feels as if it is being drawn out or extended to its utmost limits. Its etymology underscores the extreme and agonizing nature of the discomfort or suffering it describes.

Quiz: Find the meaning of excruciating

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Further usage examples of excruciating

1. The silence between them became excruciating, stretching out endlessly.
2. Her memories of that night remained as excruciating as fresh wounds.
3. The ballet dancer endured excruciating pain to achieve her dreams.
4. The excruciating burden of his past mistakes weighed on him daily.
5. It was an excruciating challenge to stay awake during the lecture.
6. The excruciating itch from the mosquito bite drove me insane.
7. He recalled the excruciating days when food and water were scarce.
8. For a writer, facing an excruciating writer's block can be daunting.
9. The long hours of rehearsal were excruciating but eventually paid off.
10. The realization of his betrayal brought excruciating pain to her heart.
11. She faced excruciating pressure as the CEO of a major corporation.
12. The excruciating brightness of the sun made it hard to see the road.
13. After surgery, he faced excruciating rehabilitation exercises every day.
14. The anticipation before her big performance was nothing short of excruciating.



agonizing, painless, comfortable, soothing


Hurdles and Setbacks, Demanding and Challenging, Gloom and Unpleasantness, Hardship and Suffering

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