1. Great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering: a time of great tribulation. See Synonyms at trial.
2. An experience that tests one's endurance, patience, or faith. See Synonyms at burden.
[Middle English tribulacioun, from Old French tribulacion, from Latin trībulātiō, trībulātiōn-, from trībulātus, past participle of trībulāre, to oppress, from Latin trībulum, threshing-sledge; see terə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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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.