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

But the mental and emotional anguish takes a heavy toll as well. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "People Living With Chronic Pain Are Turning to This Support Group for Help," 16 Sep. 2019 Bonilla said the lawsuit seeks monetary damages of not less than $200,000 and no more than $1 million for any past or future physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain and anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement and medical expenses. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio woman suing city, Lime for injuries after being thrown from e-scooter after hitting pothole," 1 Aug. 2019 Dozens of technology companies have created apps and websites that market text, voice or video chat therapy for people seeking help with spells of depression, anxiety or other mental anguish. Ken Alltucker, Alex Connor And Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Mobile therapy apps: With suicide rates on the rise, can text chats rescue those on the edge?," 15 June 2018 The six students want a jury trial to determine damages in excess of $75,000 for mental anguish and emotional distress. Faith Karimi And Sheena Jones, CNN, "They posed in blackface and bullied African-American classmates. The school district failed to act, parents say," 5 Sep. 2019 District Court Judge Emily Tobolowsky ruled that the cleric, Imam Zia ul-Haq Sheikh, 50, must compensate the woman for mental anguish and other damages, The Dallas Morning News reported. Fox News, "Muslim cleric in Texas ordered to pay woman $2.5M in sexual exploitation lawsuit," 15 Aug. 2019 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

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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Learn More about anguish

Statistics for anguish

Last Updated

17 Oct 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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