What does ordeal mean?

Definitions for ordeal
ɔrˈdil, -ˈdi əl, ˈɔr dilor·deal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ordeal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ordealnoun

    a severe or trying experience

  2. ordeal, trial by ordealnoun

    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


  1. ordealnoun

    a painful or trying experience

  2. ordealnoun

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ORDEALnoun

    A trial by fire or water, by which the person accused appealed to heaven, by walking blindfold over hot bars of iron; or being thrown, I suppose, into the water; whence the vulgar trial of witches.

    Etymology: ordal , Sax. ordalium, low Lat. ordalie, Fr.

    Their ordeal laws they used in doubtful cases, when clear proofs wanted. George Hakewill, on Providence.

    In the time of king John, the purgation per ignem et aquam, or the trial by ordeal continued; but it ended with this king. Matthew Hale.


  1. ordeal

    An ordeal is a difficult or painful experience, especially one that severely tests a person's character, endurance, or resolution. It can also refer to an ancient method of judgment, where the accused was subjected to some dangerous or painful tests believed to be under divine control.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ordeal

    or′de-al, n. a dealing out or giving of just judgment: an ancient form of referring a disputed question to the judgment of God, by lot, fire, water, &c.: any severe trial or examination. [A.S. or-dél, or-dál; cf. Dut. oor-deel, Ger. ur-theil.]

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.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for ordeal »

  1. reload

  2. Laredo

  3. loader

How to pronounce ordeal?

How to say ordeal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordeal in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ordeal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of ordeal in a Sentence

  1. Tony Fernandes:

    We will go through this terrible ordeal together, be strong.

  2. Josh Hawley:

    The conduct the report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.

  3. Raymond Silverman:

    While it has been a long ordeal for the Seeman family, they remain resolute in seeing Ms. Locane and any other responsible parties brought to justice.

  4. Brian Nunamaker:

    As a parent, you feel extremely helpless to be unable to assist the most important person in the world during such a time of emergency, worst case scenarios run through your head while you are hoping for the best. The eternity of waiting for help to arrive was surprisingly non-existent in this situation. I was surprised at how quickly help had arrived in the form of a fire truck. When the firefighters arrived on the scene, Nunamaker’s daughter was limp but she was still breathing and had a pulse. His daughter arrived at the hospital and started to have another seizure, but it stopped momentarily. Nunamaker said his daughter was later transferred to VCU and was later discharged. Nunamaker told Fox 5 DC he was hoping to put the ordeal behind him, but couldn’t when he heard the news of Kelley and Bloom’s suspension. My wife and I feel terrible for the fallout that has happened to these two gentlemen, Nunamaker said in a statement to Fox 5 DC. They simply had the best interests for our daughter's care in mind.

  5. Claude Dauphin:

    We went to the Ivory Coast on a mission to help the people of Abidjan, and to find ourselves arrested and in jail as a result has been a terrible ordeal for ourselves and our families.

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Translations for ordeal

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"ordeal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 30 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ordeal>.

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