English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English ordel, ordal, from Medieval Latin ordālium or inherited from its source Old English ordēl, ordāl (ordeal, judgement), from Proto-West Germanic *uʀdailī (judgement, literally an out-dealing), from *uʀdailijan (to deal out; dispense), equivalent to or- +‎ deal.

Cognate with Saterland Frisian Uurdeel (judgement; verdict), West Frisian oardiel (judgement), Dutch oordeel (judgement, discretion), Low German Oordeel (judgement; verdict), German Urteil (judgement, verdict).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɔːˈdiːl/
  • (file)
  • (US, Canada) IPA(key): /ɔɹˈdil/
  • Hyphenation: or‧deal
  • Rhymes: -iːl

Noun edit

ordeal (plural ordeals)

  1. A painful or trying experience.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XXI, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, →OCLC:
      “And do you realize that in a few shakes I've got to show up at dinner and have Mrs Cream being very, very kind to me? It hurts the pride of the Woosters, Jeeves.” “My advice, sir, would be to fortify yourself for the ordeal.” “How?” “There are always cocktails, sir. Should I pour you another?” “You should.”
    • 1960 October, P. Ransome-Wallis, “Modern motive power of the German Federal Railway: Part Two”, in Trains Illustrated, page 611:
      All the same, nearly eight hours on the footplate covering a distance of 320 miles, with an ambient temperature of up to 103° for much of the time, proved an ordeal which I would not lightly undertake again.
    • 2012 December 29, Paul Doyle, “Arsenal's Theo Walcott hits hat-trick in thrilling victory over Newcastle”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Arsène Wenger confessed: "The result was not an accurate indication of the match." Certainly, at half-time it seemed unlikely that Arsenal would catch fire so spectacularly because the first half was a damp squib of a display from Wenger's team, as Newcastle initially showed no ill-effects from their Old Trafford ordeal.
  2. 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. The poisonous ordeal bean or Calabar bean

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

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