From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishordealor‧deal /ɔːˈdiːl, ˈɔːdiːl $ ɔːrˈdiːl, ˈɔːrdiːl/ ●○○ noun [countable] EXPERIENCEa terrible or painful experience that continues for a period of timeordeal of She then had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence. She was forced to face the ordeal of withdrawal symptoms. He was beginning to wonder if he would survive the ordeal. Teresa had a transplant in 1989 and was just recovering from that ordeal when she suffered a brain hemorrhage. Soon the whole terrifying ordeal would be over.COLLOCATIONSadjectivesa terrible/dreadful ordealThe trial was a dreadful ordeal.a long ordealAfter thirteen days, the hostages' long ordeal finally ended.a terrifying ordealBruce Gordon has described his terrifying ordeal in a shark attack.a painful ordeal (=a very bad or painful experience)The treatment she had to go through was a painful ordeal.verbsgo through an ordeal (also undergo an ordeal formal) (=experience something that is very bad or difficult)I'd already gone through the ordeal of a divorce once.The girl will not have to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence in court.face an ordealHe faced the ordeal of caring for his dying wife.endure an ordealIn his book, he describes how he endured the ordeal of prison life.survive an ordealThe woman survived her ordeal and identified her attacker.recover from an ordealShe is recovering from her ordeal after a bomb went off on the train she was on.subject somebody to an ordeal (=make someone suffer something very painful or frightening)Simon Collier was subjected to a horrifying ordeal at gunpoint.spare somebody the ordeal of something (=not make someone have to do something difficult)Thank goodness she was spared the ordeal of surgery.phrasesan ordeal at the hands of somebody (=used to say who has made someone go through something painful or difficult)She has only just revealed her ordeal at the hands of her stepfather.
Examples from the Corpusordeal• Watching the golf was an ordeal which cramped the muscles and stretched the ingenuity of the masses to the limit.• Even for an adult, it would be an inhumanly cruel ordeal.• The three week trial turned out to be an emotional ordeal for everyone involved.• After many hair-raising adventures, most not only survive but emerge wiser and stronger as a result of their harrowing ordeal.• The hostages were relieved that their long ordeal was finally over.• No one should be subjected to this sort of ordeal, especially in their own home.• He is famously reticent in talking about his extraordinary physical ordeal.• Appeal courts are expected to show some mercy because the defendant has twice had to face the ordeal of being sentenced.• This time, though, there was hope; her strong young body recovered quickly from the ordeal of Hubert's birth.• The ants are so minute that they can dodge the rays and so survive the ordeal.• The hostages described their terrifying six-week ordeal.terrifying ordeal• But he is rescued, along with others, and the whole terrifying ordeal, he discovers, becomes a big joke.Origin ordeal Old English ordal “trial, judgment”