Definition of ordeal in English:
1A painful or horrific experience, especially a protracted one: the ordeal of having to give evidence
More example sentences
- No one experienced the ordeal of those first few years more acutely than his first wife, Linda.
- As a consequence he forced the families through the ordeal of the trial.
- As if the ordeal of a trial were not bad enough, he and Dolores must now face an arguably worse fate.
2 historical An ancient test of guilt or innocence by subjection of the accused to severe pain, survival of which was taken as divine proof of innocence.
- Those presented might then be put to the ordeal to ascertain their guilt or innocence.
- If he still maintained his innocence, he was able to decide between two ordeals: water or iron.
- As a result, ordeals were replaced by trials by juries.