Definitions for ordealɔrˈdil, -ˈdi əl, ˈɔr dil

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ordeal

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

or•dealɔrˈdil, -ˈdi əl, ˈɔr dil(n.)

  1. any extremely severe or trying test, experience, or trial.

  2. a former method of trial used to determine guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused person to serious physical danger, the result being regarded as a divine judgment.

Origin of ordeal:

bef. 950; ME ordal, OE ordāl; c. OFris ordēl, OS urdēli, OHG urteili

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ordeal(noun)

    a severe or trying experience

  2. ordeal, trial by ordeal(noun)

    a primitive method of determining a person's guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused person to dangerous or painful tests believed to be under divine control; escape was usually taken as a sign of innocence

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. ordeal(noun)ɔrˈdil, -ˈdi əl, ˈɔr dil

    an extremely unpleasant experience

    The kidnapped woman has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.; to go through an ordeal

Wiktionary

  1. ordeal(Noun)

    a painful or trying experience

  2. ordeal(Noun)

    a trial in which the accused was subjected to a dangerous test (such as ducking in water), divine authority deciding the guilt of the accused

  3. Origin: From *, ordal, from ordel, ordal, from uzdailaz, equivalent to . Cognate with oardiel, oordeel, Urteil.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Ordeal

    a test by fire, water, poison, wager of battle, or the like, of the innocence or guilt of persons in appeal thereby to the judgment of God in default of other evidence, on the superstitious belief that by means of it God would interfere to acquit the innocent and condemn the guilty, a test very often had recourse to among savage or half-civilised nations.


Translations for ordeal

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

ordeal(noun)

a difficult, painful experience

Being kidnapped was an ordeal for the child.

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