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


2 of 2


angsted; angsting; angsts

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 Lawson
We 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
Recent Examples on the Web
In a break from its usual angst, one of this season’s romantic subplots eschews torment entirely. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2024 The designer captured the angst of Gershwin’s perspective of Black life in the South. James Sanders, Essence, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for angst 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'angst.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1872, in the meaning defined above


1988, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of angst was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near angst

Cite this Entry

“Angst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/angst. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

: a feeling of anxiety : dread

More from Merriam-Webster on angst

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