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ordeal

Definition of Ordeal

(noun) A painful or dangerous method of trial controlled by supernatural forces that proves an individual’s guilt or innocence through divine judgement in which survival or degree of injury typically indicates innocence.

Example of Ordeal

Ordeal Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: ordeals
  • Also called trial by ordeal.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Ordeal

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ordeal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 21, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/ordeal/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

ordeal. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/ordeal/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ordeal.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 21, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/ordeal/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“ordeal.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/ordeal/>.