dis·traught | \ di-ˈstrȯt \

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

Yvonne is distraught, casting ugly aspersions on Madeleine. Robert Abele, latimes.com, "Review: Jean Cocteau's masterful 1948 'Les Parents Terribles' is a treat for movie lovers," 12 July 2018 The report shows Boca Raton police talked to Milkevic’s girlfriend, who was distraught over his death and had wanted to marry him. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Man's shooting death on I-95 in Boca was likely random," 29 June 2018 And once his death was confirmed, even more distraught reactions flooded social media from Kanye West, Sylvan LaCue and many more. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Kanye West, Joey Bada$$, Lil Xan & More React to XXXTentacion's Death," 18 June 2018 According to Davidson, the final straw came when a shelter worker told him to stop three distraught Brazilian siblings from consoling each other. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Ex-Shelter Worker Says New Staffers Received Just 1 Week of Training to Work With Traumatized Migrant Children," 18 June 2018 Meanwhile another person saw the distraught woman and after being told what had happened the bystander took the woman to her own home, where her family called the sheriff. Greg Moran, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Woman reports sexual batter on Vista street," 11 June 2018 But the girls come to us crying, totally distraught. NBC News, "USA Gymnastics turmoil: Head of women's program asked to resign," 18 May 2018 A few feet away from the car was a distraught middle-aged white male. Rachel Dissell, cleveland.com, "Dear Cleveland: Training with police gave us a new perspective, but we still have questions," 28 Apr. 2018 On the day of the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, two characters put up distraught Instagram posts. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, "“SKAM,” the Radical Teen Drama That Unfolds One Post at a Time," 23 Jan. 2017

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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Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of distraught

: very upset

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