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as in:  a harrowing story

It was a harrowing journey through war-torn Afghanistan.
  frightening or unsettling
 Mark word for later review on this computer
harrowing harrowingly
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  • It was a harrowing journey through war-torn Afghanistan.
  • The story is especially harrowing because it could have happened to any of us.
  • My most harrowing conversations were with financiers and bankers I’d known for years, major players from very large companies around the country, whose voices were tightened by fear. [of the 1987 stock market crash]
    Alan Greenspan  --  The Age of Turbulence
  • ...the contrast ... between my former and my present opinion of her, was so harrowing - so distressing to my feelings, that it swallowed up every lighter consideration.
    Anne Bronte  --  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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  • I wanted myself to die, and yet I clung to life—useless and hopeless and harrowing a thing as it had become.
    Edgar Rice Burroughs  --  The Land That Time Forgot
  • Apparently before he phoned me he’d just had a long, rather harrowing letter from your latest headmaster, to the effect that you were making absolutely no effort at all.
    J.D. Salinger  --  The Catcher in the Rye
  • He was calm and collected under the most harrowing circumstances, and we knew we were lucky to have him as our commander.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • She had been locked in a Caribbean jail for an entire harrowing year before the feds came to get her.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • It was as if a vast store of energy had been held inside her, bounding about in a terribly long, great waiting, such an abeyance really being the most lovely thing to me, and harrowing as well.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • This will probably involve many harrowing trials with a high chance of death.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Trials of Apollo

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  • "Chaol told me he took you to see the body; I hope it wasn’t too harrowing."
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • ’All that he would have to do," continued the worried bug, "is travel through miles of harrowing and hazardous countryside, into unknown valleys and uncharted forests, past yawning chasms and trackless wastes, until he reached Digitopolis (if, of course, he ever reached there).
    Norton Juster  --  The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Many survivors wrote about their harrowing experiences in books, newspaper and magazine articles, or letters to friends and relatives.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire
  • The echoes of his footfalls ricochet off tall houses and rain back onto them, and he labors beneath her weight, and she is old enough to suspect that what he presents as quaint and welcoming might in truth be harrowing and strange.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • In order to be given the opportunity to propose to Hoss this nearly unspeakable means for her son’s salvation, she had to wait—and that in itself involved a strange, harrowing scene the next day.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • IT WAS THE THIRD TIME in two weeks I had to go over a harrowing double-murder scene.
    James Patterson  --  1st to Die
  • And the most harrowing thing I noticed was that my favorite game of all time—Space Invaders—had been replaced by quite possibly the most frightening thing I’d ever seen.
    John Corey Whaley  --  Nogin
  • But his story was typical — and just as harrowing as those I had heard from children in the INS jails.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique’s Journey
  • Uncle Henry ignored him for a few more harrowing minutes, finally pulling over at a rest stop.
    James McBride  --  The Color of Water
  • To be a castaway is to be caught in a harrowing ballet of circles.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • March 19, 2003—After seventeen harrowing days, Colton’s family returns to Imperial.
    Todd Burpo  --  Heaven Is for Real
  • And yet I couldn’t believe that they would choose this occasion for a scene — especially for the rather harrowing scene that Gatsby had outlined in the garden.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • Another nine weeks were required to make the only slightly less harrowing descent; in total Waterman spent 145 days alone on the mountain.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • Strange and harrowing must be his story, frightful the storm which embraced the gallant vessel on its course and wrecked it—thus!
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • Eventually Darlington got word of his mother’s whereabouts and made his own harrowing two-day trek on foot to the camp to reunite with his mother and younger brothers.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • Oh, we have imagined the most harrowing things.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • Van Helsing ordered the former arrangement to be adhered to, explaining that, as Lord Godalming was coming very soon, it would be less harrowing to his feelings to see all that was left of his fiancee quite alone.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • How he must have loved harrowing them with descriptions of her activities with the store, the mills, the saloon.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • I’ll hear his harrowing plea the rest of my life!
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • 54 Plowing, harrowing, and furrowing….
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • By his early twenties, he had developed a reputation for a harrowing, damn the-torpedoes approach to ascent.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • The nightmares appeared to Hungry Joe with celestial punctuality every single night he spent in the squadron throughout the whole harrowing ordeal when he was not flying combat missions and was waiting once again for the orders sending him home that never came.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Never would Edna Pontellier forget the shock with which she heard Madame Ratignolle relating to old Monsieur Farival the harrowing story of one of her accouchements, withholding no intimate detail.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • Gradually a harrowing thought seeped into Curly’s brain, chilling him like ice water: What if the teenaged burglar had swiped the revolver from his waistband while they were fighting?
    Carl Hiassen  --  Hoot
  • The ploughland was in splendid condition; in a couple of days it would be fit for harrowing and sowing.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • It was pretty harrowing—the only person it didn’t disturb was Abe North—he flew off to Havre—he probably doesn’t know about it yet.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Some two or three days later I noticed a change in Kuti: his eyes lost their dullness and the whimpering that had been so harrowing to listen to lessened and stopped.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • But when an old man falls, and dogs disfigure his grey head and cheek and genitals, that is most harrowing of all that men in their hard lives endure.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • Katherine’s voice filled with emotion as she recounted the harrowing events of that night, how the tattooed man had broken into their estate.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • But Mr. Dashwood rejected any but thrilling tales, and as thrills could not be produced except by harrowing up the souls of the readers, history and romance, land and sea, science and art, police records and lunatic asylums, had to be ransacked for the purpose.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • I note these things because it is harrowing to see decent-looking men and boys assume that because a man is black they need show him none of the reticences they would, out of respect, show the most derelict white man.
    John Howard Griffin  --  Black Like Me
  • There was a harrowing moment, then I drew a sigh of relief.
    Robert Penn Warren  --  All the King’s Men
  • At eight-thirty, Colonel Liversedge made a harrowing decision.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • "And what is it?" asked Lucy fearfully, expecting some harrowing tale.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • After which harrowing denouement sufficient to appal the stoutest he snapped the blade to and stowed the weapon in question away as before in his chamber of horrors, otherwise pocket.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • He was simply regarding the harrowing contingencies of human experience, the unexpectedness of things.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • ’Though harrowing to myself to mention, the alienation of Mr. Micawber (formerly so domesticated) from his wife and family, is the cause of my addressing my unhappy appeal to Mr. Traddles, and soliciting his best indulgence.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • The episode allows Paul Berlin to see a Vietcong tunnel, which his inherent terror will never allow him to do in real life, and this fantastic tunnel proves both more elaborate and more harrowing than the real ones.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Love, jealousy, hatred, burst out around us in harrowing cries.
    Gaston Leroux  --  The Phantom of the Opera
  • A high, whining sound now, above the roar of the helicopter, and Kate recognized a police siren, howling and harrowing.
    Robert Cormier  --  After the First Death
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Associated words [difficulty]:   harrowing [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Human Behavior, Sports
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