\ ˈäŋ(k)st How to pronounce angst (audio) , ˈaŋ(k)st How to pronounce angst (audio) \

Definition of angst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity teenage angst


angsted; angsting; angsts

Definition of angst (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to feel or express anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity : to experience or express angst "… all that time spent agonizing, angsting, and wasted in so many ways, feeling crappy and not writing … ."— Zsuzsi Gartner And there was a whiff of "first-world problems" about two not particularly likeable characters angsting to each other in a trendy-looking gastropub.— Jeff Robson often used with over or about Yet now we have a Superman who angsts about not having human connections (his marriage to Lois never happened now) and mopes around quite a bit.— Corrina LawsonWe boomers have moved on to mortgages and taxes, angsting over our teenagers and tending to the first signs of ailments apt to drag us down more quickly than we'd like to admit.— Robert Benjamin

Examples of angst in a Sentence

Noun The winner of France's prestigious Prix de Flore, "Report on Myself" is a study in raw angst and mortifying self-disclosure: a portrait of the artist as a lover who just can't catch a break. — Caroline Weber, New York Times Book Review, 15 Feb. 2009 Adapting Alicia Erian's novel, writer-director Alan Ball showcases both the knack for sketching out thorny relationships that distinguished Six Feet Under and the impulse for … suburban angst that befouled his script for American Beauty. — Troy Patterson, Spin, September 2008 The retail category, of course, has been a source of angst among newspapers for some time. Retail ad volume in papers has declined for much of the past 15 years, according to Merrill Lynch research. — Lucia Moses et al., Editor & Publisher, 8 Oct. 2001 One way to increase these health benefits is to learn how to write more fluidly and with less angst and frustration. When you're engaged with what you're doing, the rest of the world recedes. — Susan H. Perry, Psychology Today, November/December 2001 a film about teenage angst
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amid all of the angst over inflation, one of the big surprises last year is that gold prices fell by 4%. Nick Sargen, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Titz’ak, from the verb litz’ok, is an expression of angst. Rabbi Avi Weiss,, 10 Jan. 2022 The angst of the conferences getting left out was utterly predictable. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 29 Dec. 2021 Just browse the Twitter hashtag #HighRiskCOVID19 for a taste of the ongoing angst. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 25 Dec. 2021 Mordant short stories capture the angst of middle-schoolers in the age of smartphones. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2021 The release of her debut album, Sour, in May only catapulted Rodrigo further into the stratosphere, channeling the angst of Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple and the songwriting prowess of Taylor Swift (who made her Rodrigo fandom known). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 9 Dec. 2021 Naima Simone always balances the most delicious angst with extremely satisfying heat and the utmost heart. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 6 Dec. 2021 Among modern performers, Maxwell is unusually open about the angst that surrounds his creative process. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'angst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of angst


1872, in the meaning defined above


1988, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for angst


borrowed from German Angst, going back to Middle High German angest, going back to Old High German angust "distress, worry, anxiety," going back to West Germanic *angusti- (whence also Old Frisian ongesta, ongosta "anxiety, danger," Middle Dutch anxt, anxte), derivative, with a noun suffix *-ti- or *-sti-, of the Germanic base *angu- seen in Old English enge "narrow," ange "distressing," Old High German ango "anxious" — more at anger entry 1

Note: If the suffix in question is *-ti-, then the element *angus- is perhaps directly comparable with the s-stem noun reflected in Latin angor "suffocation, anguish," Sanskrit áṁhaḥ "anxiety, trouble" (see anger entry 1) or Latin angustus "narrow" (see anguish entry 1).


derivative of angst entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near angst

angry young man



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Last Updated

27 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Angst.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for angst



English Language Learners Definition of angst

: a strong feeling of being worried or nervous : a feeling of anxiety about your life or situation

More from Merriam-Webster on angst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for angst

Britannica English: Translation of angst for Arabic Speakers


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