Associations to the word «Ordeal»


ORDEAL, noun. A painful or trying experience.
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.
ORDEAL BEAN, noun. The Calabar bean.
ORDEAL TREE, noun. A poisonous tree of Madagascar (Tanghinia, Cerbera, venenata). Those suspected of crime were forced to eat the seeds of the plumlike fruit, and criminals were put to death by being pricked with a lance dipped in the juice of the seeds.

Dictionary definition

ORDEAL, noun. A severe or trying experience.
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.

Wise words

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.
Noam Chomsky