an·​guished ˈaŋ-gwisht How to pronounce anguished (audio)
: suffering anguish : tormented
the anguished martyrs
: expressing anguish : agonized
anguished cries

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 network, which has more cameras in Gaza than any other news outlet, has repeatedly broadcast footage of bodies trapped in rubble and of anguished parents clutching children wrapped in shrouds. David D. Kirkpatrick, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 Their families have been turning in part to Mintz and her partners, particularly Huber, who is on the receiving end of many anguished phone calls. Alexandra E. Petri, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2023 Gupta’s new memoir, written as an emotional, anguished letter to her mother, rewrote that script for me. The Atlantic Culture Desk, The Atlantic, 25 Oct. 2023 From the beginning, with the grief still raw and anguished questions unanswered, the South Korean government distanced itself from the disaster that unfolded last year on a Halloween weekend in Seoul. Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2023 Her lawyer defended the notes as the anguished writings of a woman who had lost confidence in herself and blamed herself for what had happened in the ward. Sylvia Hui and Brian Melley, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2023 In a scant 122 pages, Porter surges through Shy’s anguished childhood and adolescence, situating us within the walls of Last Chance, an English boarding school for impossible boys. Hazlitt, 11 Oct. 2023 Hence the insistence, now a tiresome cliché of the genre, on the self-doubts and anguished souls of their protagonists. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2023 This incident, which keeps erupting into Mahito’s consciousness afterward, is rendered like a panic attack, the boy in his light-gray uniform pushing through a crowd of city residents who are a dark blur of anguished forms. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of anguished was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near anguished

Cite this Entry

“Anguished.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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