\ 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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The angst accompanying the early-season travails of the White Sox is not unfamiliar. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 22 May 2022 Pedersen’s depiction of Sunshine’s adolescent angst is fraught with tension and rich with compassion. Leah Tyler, ajc, 25 Apr. 2022 Far outside the cocoon of minor league baseball, too, was the angst and self-destructive infighting that threatened to derail the major league season. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 8 Apr. 2022 The next morning, the angst of these two, and their desire for each other, is clear—Kate goes for a horseback ride, and Anthony sits in a bathtub, thinking. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 25 Mar. 2022 This kind of tacit angst is typical of Khan’s lean, precise screenplay, at least in the establishing stages; burning burdens are more vocally unloaded later on. Guy Lodge, Variety, 13 Mar. 2022 And without any expectations, there was no angst Friday over a mediocre 8-11 record heading into a three-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 When Nick spontaneously performs a song for his daughter in the middle of her 16th-birthday party, Cage steeps the sequence in desperation and angst, injecting sincerity into an absurd moment. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 29 Apr. 2022 The issue is even more pressing for CBS News, which announced Mulvaney’s hiring last month to considerable angst among its journalists, as The Post’s Jeremy Barr reported. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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 May 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for angst

Britannica English: Translation of angst for Arabic Speakers


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