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 Afghan government officials, meanwhile, were becoming increasingly distraught that their American allies were not coming down harder on Pakistan. New York Times, "Biden’s Afghan Pullout Is a Victory for Pakistan. But at What Cost?," 15 Apr. 2021 And local moviegoers, industry stars, and mid-century design enthusiasts are all distraught over its fate. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Don’t Worry, the Cinerama Dome Won’t Get Demolished (Probably)," 13 Apr. 2021 Rosa Walter-Meade, a volunteer at the Sharp Healthcare Super Station in Chula Vista, didn’t hesitate after seeing a distraught woman who was trying to make an appointment to get her 88-year-old mother vaccinated. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘I’m making a difference:’ Vaccine site volunteers came for a shot, but stayed to help," 10 Apr. 2021 Deputies originally responded to the area after two 911 calls from neighbors reporting a distraught woman hiding in bushes and ringing their doorbells, according to police. Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, "Abandoned 4-month-old baby boy found face down in a wooded area of Orion Township," 8 Apr. 2021 The woman reportedly was distraught and told people that she was being chased by someone with guns, the release says. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Michigan deputies rescue infant found face-down in woods," 8 Apr. 2021 The girls, they were just distraught about what had transpired. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "Merry Clayton on Her Hard-Won Comeback and How Faith Saved Her Life," 31 Mar. 2021 More than 100 family members and friends also went to the location, many visibly distraught. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Vigil set for Toni Bass who was found slain after missing 5 days," 17 Sep. 2020 In light of that development, a somewhat distraught Hocutt spent about 20 minutes Thursday afternoon discussing about what happened behind the scenes of this complicated Texas triangle. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt 'disappointed' by Chris Beard leaving for Texas," 1 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for distraught

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for distraught

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distraught. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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