Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.


extremely upsetting or disturbing
  • How to Memorize
    • harrowing - horrible
  • Analysis

    Something that is ‘harrowing’ provokes strong feelings of fear or horror. It tends to be used in relation to an experience that is so distressing or terrifying that it can lead to a person becoming traumatized. The word is particularly applicable to an experience that is more than just a moment of fright. In other words: an ordeal.

  • Exam DBSpoken DBOther
    Antonymsdelectablepleasant, enthralling,
  • Example(s)
    1. It was hard to listen to that soldier speak about the war because his story was just so harrowing.

    2. Flying through that violent storm was a harrowing experience for Tom. He genuinely thought he was going to die.

    3. You should take some time off work. With everything that’s gone on at the hospital recently, I know you’ve had a harrowing few weeks.