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

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 The complications over the custody of the children was a source of great anguish to Hutchence right up to the time of his death. Vogue, "A New Documentary on INXS Frontman Michael Hutchence Takes a Writer Down Memory Lane," 24 Apr. 2019 Britain comes 19th out of 26 European countries for punctuality on local routes—and these are the ones that cause most anguish, as commuters rely on them to get to work on time. The franchising business has also sometimes proved chaotic. The Economist, "How rising rail fares and falling punctuality undermine confidence," 15 Aug. 2019 But nothing causes him greater anguish than giveaways. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Will Nick Saban rein in Tua Tagovailoa this season?," 23 July 2019 The Manchester bombing caused widespread anguish in part because so many of the dead and wounded were young fans of Grande, a pop star with a huge following. Samy Magdy, BostonGlobe.com, "Brother of Manchester Arena suicide bomber arrested in UK," 17 July 2019 His body has been wracked by the pain of a hip replacement, his mind tortured by the anguish of public shaming, hatred, and guilt. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Floyd Landis Still Has a Lot to Say," 19 July 2019 Or families jammed into leaky boats on the Mediterranean, their gazes sagging with anguish, sunk in vulnerability. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A storyteller chronicles the mass migrations that define our age," 17 July 2019 Not for the Pixar toys the yearnings of Pinocchio or the existential anguish of the rabbit on the pyre. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Toy Story 4’s Nursery Stoicism," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Her grandmother, a retired teacher, is anguished over the possibility of losing her pension in future rounds of cutbacks. CBS News, "Thousands call on Puerto Rico's governor to resign in massive protest," 17 July 2019 Painful to witness, anguishing for the team to process. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Who’s to blame? Maybe Warriors. Maybe Kevin Durant. Maybe you. Or nobody," 12 June 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

5 Sep 2019

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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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