1. A difficult or painful experience, especially one that severely tests character or endurance. See Synonyms at trial.
2. A method of trial in which the accused was subjected to pain or danger as a means of invoking God's intercession, with the outcome regarded as revealing a divine determination of guilt or innocence.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.