from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To suffer extreme pain or great anguish.
  • intransitive v. To make a great effort; struggle.
  • transitive v. To cause great pain or anguish to. See Synonyms at afflict.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To writhe with agony; to suffer violent anguish.
  • v. To struggle; to wrestle; to strive desperately.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To writhe with agony; to suffer violent anguish.
  • intransitive v. To struggle; to wrestle; to strive desperately.
  • transitive v. To cause to suffer agony; to subject to extreme pain; to torture.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To struggle; wrestle, as in the arena; hence, to make great effort of any kind.
  • To writhe with extreme pain; suffer violent anguish.
  • To distress with extreme pain; torture.
  • Also spelled agonise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause to agonize
  • v. suffer agony or anguish


Medieval Latin agōnizāre, from Greek agōnizesthai, to struggle, from agōn, contest; see agony.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French agoniser, from Late Latin agonizare, from Ancient Greek ἀγωνίζομαι (agonizomai, "to fight, contend"). See agony. (Wiktionary)


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