dis·​traught | \ di-ˈstrȯt How to pronounce distraught (audio) \

Definition of distraught

1 : agitated with doubt or mental conflict or pain distraught mourners
2 : mentally deranged : crazed as if thou wert distraught and mad with terror— William Shakespeare

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Other Words from distraught

distraughtly adverb

Examples of distraught in a Sentence

Of particular concern are phony contractors, who knock on the doors of distraught homeowners and offer to repair damaged roofs or remove fallen trees. — Natalie Rodriguez, This Old House, March 2006 The night before the story broke, West sat down for a two-hour interview with the Spokane-Review and left so distraught that its editor, Steven Smith, asked the police chief to check on him. — Unmesh Kher, Time, 23 May 2005 Captured by news photographers under the direction of his manager Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis's turn in the barber's chair was a public ceremony: a symbolic shearing, not only of Elvis—who would return from the service a meek semblance of himself, a mama's boy without a mama (his distraught mother, Gladys, died while he was stationed at Fort Hood, soon to depart for Germany)—but of rock 'n' roll itself. — James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, November 2000 Distraught relatives are waiting for news of the missing children. She was distraught over the death of her partner.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The dog would be distraught for 20 or so minutes, but will eventually settle down. Alexa Lisitza, Teen Vogue, "The Best Advice from Therapists, From 50 Different People," 9 July 2019 The driver, a woman, appeared to be distraught but cooperative with the investigation. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pedestrian struck, killed near border in San Ysidro," 6 July 2019 The boy was distraught and could be heard yelling for Jason Lindsey to stop, the report said. Karina Elwood, orlandosentinel.com, "Boy, 8, called 911 to report mom being strangled. His stepfather now faces murder charge," 11 June 2019 Paul Lim, who works at nearby mechanical contractor Anderson Rowe & Buckley, told the San Francisco Chronicle a distraught bystander ran into the business asking for items to help stop the victims' bleeding. Fox News, "Fight leads to San Francisco hit-run that kills 1, hurts 4," 29 Mar. 2018 As the maintenance worker spoke to the officer, the painter walked out of the apartment and appeared to be distraught, telling the officer in Spanish that she was scared, according to a police report. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Chandler man arrested after gunshot report; he claims it was a 'Call of Duty' game," 24 June 2019 At least a dozen friends and family member showed up to the scene, visibly distraught. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Deadly shooting under investigation in north Birmingham neighborhood," 14 June 2019 According to the sheriff’s office, a distraught Loza cornered his girlfriend and her friend at knifepoint just before 8 p.m. Feb. 10, 2003. Michael Todd, The Mercury News, "16 years later, suspected Soquel killer returned to Santa Cruz," 8 June 2019 Fans were distraught when Turner appeared to tease Sansa's death on social media ahead of the show's premiere. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Joe Jonas Dressed Up as Sansa Stark to Celebrate the Return of Game of Thrones," 15 Apr. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for distraught

Middle English, modification of Latin distractus — see distract entry 1

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Statistics for distraught

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for distraught

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

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More Definitions for distraught



English Language Learners Definition of distraught

: very upset : so upset that you are not able to think clearly or behave normally


dis·​traught | \ di-ˈstrȯt How to pronounce distraught (audio) \

Kids Definition of distraught

: very upset

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Comments on distraught

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