Definition of agony column in English:

agony column


  • 1A column in a newspaper or magazine offering advice on personal problems to readers who write in.

    • ‘That was in the days when Woman's Own and Woman's Realm seldom mentioned sex, even in the agony columns.’
    • ‘He was a pioneer composer in Hollywood briefly, but he soon spent much of his time on newspaper work, including an agony column.’
    • ‘Anna Pavord writes a kinda gardening / agony column in the Independent each week, where she advises garden-owners on how to improve their plots.’
    • ‘Peter Briffa has sympathy for the subject of this Guardian agony column, entitled ‘My husband spends all his free time on his computer and won't tell me why.’
    • ‘There's a mini-industry of PC magazines and agony columns devoted to repairing computer problems that should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.’
    • ‘It appeals to readers from 16 to 65 years, carrying a range of articles - lifestyle, cooking, sport, beauty, fashion, agony columns, money and legal Q&As - geared at both males and females.’
    • ‘We have had 30 years of free sex health education in our schools and, as anyone who takes a cursory look at any teenage magazine will know, sexual activity is a core ingredient of articles, letter pages, agony columns, features and stories.’
    • ‘From her childhood in Stepney, her successful career as a nurse to the beginnings of her agony columns in 1963, it's about time that we learned a little bit more about the woman who has listened to everyone else's problems most of her life.’
    • ‘You're no honorary spinster, you're a gay divorcée, and unless you've never read an agony column in your life you'll know what I'm going to say next.’
    • ‘The sports pages have been transformed into agony columns.’
    • ‘Working under a strain and writing to agony columns won't take you through life, that's for sure.’
    • ‘I am writing to object, in the strongest possible terms, to the firing of the luminously talented writer from your agony column.’
    • ‘I never thought I would ever end up writing to an agony column for advice, but here I am doing just that.’
    • ‘Well I suppose they don't need to write in to an agony column.’
    • ‘These work just like traditional agony columns, but questioners receive advice based on their own unique natal chart rather than just general advice.’
    1. 1.1dated A personal column.
      • ‘Sherlock Holmes put down the Daily Gazette where he had been perusing the agony column, his daily ritual, and retrieved a letter from his coat pocket.’
      • ‘"The agony column" is a flippant reference to personal ads, in which all sorts of human dramas were acted out.’
      • ‘I read nothing except the criminal news and the agony column.’
      • ‘You might also place a small inquiry in the Agony Column of some of the local newspapers. but since we do not consult the columns regularly, we might miss that.’
      • ‘This string of intimate messages, popularly known as the Agony Column, has long been an honored institution in the English press.’


agony column