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Ag"o*ny, n.; pl. Agonies. Etym: [L. agonia, Gr. agonie. See Agon.]Etym:
1. Violent contest or striving. The world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations. Macaulay.
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. Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly. Luke 22:44.
3. Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.
With cries and agonies of wild delight. Pope.
4. The last struggle of life; death struggle.
-- Anguish; torment; throe; distress; pangs; suffering.
-- 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.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
Agony - Contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (Luke 22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane. The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Compare 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 1:29; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labor," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.
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