anguish

noun
an·​guish | \ ˈaŋ-gwish How to pronounce anguish (audio) \

Definition of anguish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: extreme pain, distress, or anxiety cries of anguish mental anguish

anguish

verb
anguished; anguishing; anguishes

Definition of anguish (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to suffer anguish He anguished over his failure.

transitive verb

: to cause to suffer anguish a heart that had been anguished with sorrow

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Choose the Right Synonym for anguish

Noun

sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, regret mean distress of mind. sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse. a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause. the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents anguish suggests torturing grief or dread. the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery. cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse. nagging regret for missed opportunities

Examples of anguish in a Sentence

Noun

He experienced the anguish of divorce after 10 years of marriage. They watched in anguish as fire spread through the house.

Verb

she was anguished by the fear that her sons would die in the war I anguished over the loss of my father for years afterwards.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Offended by Ross’s anguish over his gay ex-wife and Chandler’s transphobic comments about his father, such essayists predicted that Friends’ supremacy would soon be over. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Mysteriously Enduring Appeal of Friends," 10 Sep. 2019 Not quite squander-two-match-points-serving-in-the-Wimbledon-final anguish, but a different kind. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 U.S. Open," 8 Sep. 2019 For sadness, there’s disappointment, anguish, frustration, grief. Michele Moses, The New Yorker, "A Bot That Captures the Ambivalence of Human Emotion," 4 Sep. 2019 Alladin, who previously brought another Disney character to the stage with his charming turn as Kristoff in Broadway’s Frozen, makes Hercules an earnest hero but doesn’t shy away from bringing the character’s insecurities and anguish to the story. Jessica Derschowitz, EW.com, "Hercules musical is a stage adaptation filled with heroics and heart," 2 Sep. 2019 The crowding in the detention centers is self-evident, and the physical and emotional conditions that migrants endure there and on their journeys—hunger, dehydration, filth, stress, sleep deprivation, and anguish—are known immunological dampers. Wired, "Why Denying Migrants Flu Shots Is a Dangerous, Foolish Move," 28 Aug. 2019 Louisville Courier Journal The toppling of at least 40 tombstones was met with anger and anguish Sunday night as people rushed to a Southern Indiana cemetery to check on their loved ones' graves. Nick Hollkamp, The Courier-Journal, "'It's just disgusting': Dozens of headstones overturned at Indiana cemetery," 29 July 2019 If anything, the trolls may find gratification in a father’s visible anguish. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Trolling of Shanann Watts’ family exposes the other dark web," 25 July 2019 Imam Zia ul-Haq Sheikh, 50, must pay $2.55 million for mental anguish and other damages and his accuser's legal fees, District Court Judge Emily Tobolowsky decided Thursday. Sarah Sarder Dana Branham, Dallas News, "North Texas Muslim cleric ordered to pay $2.55M in sexual exploitation lawsuit," 13 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then, on September 14, 2018, a coroner's investigator came to the house and broke anguishing news: Adele's daughter, Karen, had been found dead. Wired, "A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect," 17 Sep. 2019 The parents often were anguished by the prospect of their children becoming part of a different culture with its own language. BostonGlobe.com, "Harlan Lane, Northeastern professor who studied and championed deaf culture, 82," 29 July 2019 Julius Caesar anguished over falling short of Alexander the Great. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Elusive Price—and Prize—of Fame on the Internet," 20 Aug. 2019 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. Michael Weissenstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Fed-up Puerto Ricans march demanding governor resign," 18 July 2019 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. Michael Weissenstein, USA TODAY, "Thousands of Puerto Ricans march in in San Juan, demanding Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resign," 18 July 2019 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. Washington Post, "Fed-up Puerto Ricans march demanding governor resign," 18 July 2019 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. Michael Weissenstein, USA TODAY, "Thousands of Puerto Ricans march in in San Juan, demanding Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resign," 18 July 2019 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. Michael Weissenstein, USA TODAY, "Thousands of Puerto Ricans march in in San Juan, demanding Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resign," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anguish.' 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 anguish

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for anguish

Noun and Verb

Middle English angwisshe, from Anglo-French anguisse, angoisse, from Latin angustiae, plural, straits, distress, from angustus narrow; akin to Old English enge narrow — more at anger

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Statistics for anguish

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anguish

The first known use of anguish was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for anguish

anguish

noun
an·​guish | \ ˈaŋ-gwish How to pronounce anguish (audio) \

Kids Definition of anguish

: great physical or emotional pain

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More from Merriam-Webster on anguish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anguish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anguish

Spanish Central: Translation of anguish

Nglish: Translation of anguish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anguish for Arabic Speakers

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