Ordeal

Definition of Ordeal

Or´de`al   Pronunciation: ôr´dė`al
n.1.An ancient form of test to determine guilt or innocence, by appealing to a supernatural decision, - once common in Europe, and still practiced in the East and by savage tribes.
2.Any severe trial, or test; a painful experience.
Ordeal bean
(Bot.) See Calabar bean, under Calabar.
Ordeal root
(Bot.) the root of a species of Strychnos growing in West Africa, used, like the ordeal bean, in trials for witchcraft.
Ordeal tree
(Bot.) a poisonous tree of Madagascar (Tanghinia venenata syn. Cerbera venenata). Persons suspected of crime are forced to eat the seeds of the plumlike fruit, and criminals are put to death by being pricked with a lance dipped in the juice of the seeds.
a.1.Of or pertaining to trial by ordeal.

Related Words

Sabbat, acid test, adversity, anguish, assay, blank determination, brouillon, calvary, criterion, cross, crucial test, crucible, determination, disaster, distress, docimasy, essay, feeling out, fiery ordeal, first draft, ghost dance, grief, kiteflying, magic circle, misery, misfortune, nightmare, ordeal by battle, probation, rough draft, rough sketch, sounding out, standard, test case, touchstone, tragedy, trials and tribulations, tribulations, troubles, try, verification, visitation
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