Something that's crushing is terribly upsetting or overwhelming. Your favorite team's crushing loss to its rival comes as a huge, disappointing surprise.

The adjective crushing can be used to describe physical devastation, like a boxer's crushing blow to his opponent's face, but it more often describes a humiliating or dismaying situation. Bad news might be a crushing blow, and being turned down for a date to the prom could feel like a crushing rejection. Crushing comes from the Old French cruissir, a variation on croissir, "to gnash, crash, or break."

Definitions of crushing
  1. adjective
    physically or spiritually devastating; often used in combination
    “a crushing blow”
    “a crushing rejection”
    “bone- crushing
    synonyms: devastating
    causing destruction or much damage
  2. noun
    forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority
    synonyms: quelling, stifling, suppression
    see moresee less
    severely repressive actions
    type of:
    bar, prevention
    the act of preventing
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