an·​guished | \ ˈaŋ-gwisht How to pronounce anguished (audio) \

Definition of anguished

1 : suffering anguish : tormented the anguished martyrs
2 : expressing anguish : agonized anguished cries

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Examples of anguished in a Sentence

the military's explanation of the accident did nothing to console the anguished widow
Recent Examples on the Web The couple, in the process of filing for divorce but still amiable, spent anguished days eating French fries and ordering room service. Meg Bernhard, The New Yorker, "The Long Trip Home," 11 Apr. 2021 With most global travel halted last year and restrictions still in place in some countries even now, many families adopting from overseas have been stuck in anguished suspense. Washington Post, "The pandemic put families in international adoption limbo. Our story has a happy ending.," 9 Mar. 2021 As vaccination rates rise dramatically, some states are rushing to reopen despite anguished pleas from public health experts to move cautiously because tens of thousands of people are still sick, and more than 1,500 are still dying daily. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "‘Faceless death’: After a year of denial and limited public mourning, COVID survivors ask Americans to grieve with them," 13 Mar. 2021 The difficult and anguished decision to send a child or teenager alone is not an irrational act. Washington Post, "Hundreds of minors are crossing the border each day without their parents. Who are they?," 11 Mar. 2021 Working off a composition initially penned by the Four Tops’ Obie Benson with house songwriter Al Cleveland, Gaye used the song as a musical canvas, full of jazz inflections and layered voices that lent a radiant atmosphere to the anguished lyrics. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan designates Wednesday as 'What's Going On' Day as Marvin Gaye single marks 50 years," 19 Jan. 2021 An anguished health-care worker in New York told me about the baggage from shrouding her illness from her mother and grandmother. Saahil Desai, The Atlantic, "The People Who Pretend They Never Had COVID-19," 17 Jan. 2021 Of writers who chronicled the anguished history of the 20th century, Graham Greene's work is central to that account, and essential to understanding the age and its 21st-century aftermath. Star Tribune, "Review: 'The Unquiet Englishman,' by Richard Greene," 8 Jan. 2021 Her family made the anguished decision to keep their holiday gathering small to avoid contracting the coronavirus. Chris Serres, Star Tribune, "'My heart aches': Minnesota seniors brace for a long and lonely holiday season," 21 Nov. 2020

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

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anguished

Middle English anguysched, from past participle of anguischen "to anguish entry 2"

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Time Traveler for anguished

Time Traveler

The first known use of anguished was in 1570

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Statistics for anguished

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anguished.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for anguished


an·​guished | \ ˈaŋ-gwisht \

Kids Definition of anguished

: expressing physical or emotional pain an anguished cry

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