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

At a recent gathering in a full auditorium, the anguished cry of a grieving mother shattered a moment of silence called to honor the dead and missing. Juan Montes, WSJ, "‘It’s a Crisis of Civilization in Mexico.’ 250,000 Dead. 37,400 Missing.," 14 Nov. 2018 Tens of thousands of people are experiencing similar anguished waits as the number of refugees entering the U.S. falls to historic lows because of tighter scrutiny that administration officials say is necessary for security. Fox News, "Trump refugee policy leaves thousands stranded outside US," 7 Oct. 2018 Many listened to the simulcast of the professor’s testimony on their cell phones, at times looking anguished or openly crying. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Elizabeth Warren Has a Powerful Message for Sexual Assault Survivors Watching the Kavanaugh Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 But if Jeremy’s self-loathing is defensive and toxic, the self-loathing of his best friend Michael is purely anguished and cathartic. Constance Grady, Vox, "Why the off-Broadway musical Be More Chill is a viral teen sensation," 14 Aug. 2018 Trump spent the first days after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida fixated on the grieving and anguished students and parents. Washington Post, "Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent," 24 Feb. 2018 The warnings led to days of anguished media coverage of Islamic State militants’ online reach. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Primary results confirm 2018 is a terrible year to be a House Republican," 9 May 2018 The warnings led to days of anguished media coverage of Islamic State militants' online reach. NBC News, "'ISIS hackers' threats against U.S. military wives actually came from Russian trolls," 8 May 2018 Three decades into making anguished, seductive industrial rock, Trent Reznor had entered his least-compromising phase yet. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Nine Inch Nails Is Still Pushing the Sound of Catharsis," 22 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for anguished

Last Updated

23 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for anguished

The first known use of anguished was in the 14th century

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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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Comments on anguished

What made you want to look up anguished? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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