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 incident was reported at around 7:30 p.m., when police in the Contra Costa city received a distraught call that the toddler was in the pool on the 3000 block of N. Francisco Way. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Antioch toddler, 2, dies in backyard pool," 15 June 2019 Keanon Lowe, a high school track and football coach who disarmed a distraught student gunman last May and then hugged him close, averting a possible tragedy and displaying compassion in one gesture. Aj Willingham, CNN, "All The Good Stuff that happened this week," 3 Apr. 2020 Keanon Lowe, the football coach and security guard who disarmed a distraught student at Parkrose High School last year, was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation announced last week. oregonlive, "Parkrose hero Keanon Lowe awarded Congressional Medal of Honor," 30 Mar. 2020 Instead of helping distraught citizens cope with these frustrating and hungry times, many Indian police personnel are increasingly caught harassing and assaulting them. Anisha Sircar, Quartz India, "India’s coronavirus lockdown is bringing out the worst in its police force," 27 Mar. 2020 Now, distraught conservation officials have reported the animals have been killed. Paul Nicklen, National Geographic, "When will trainers stop drugging racehorses?," 12 Mar. 2020 In one video shown during the hearing, a distraught Schwarzman is seen approaching an officer at the scene of the accident and saying something about the power steering in her vehicle not working. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Motion to suppress evidence in case that killed 5-year-old and her grandmother in Timonium is denied," 3 July 2019 The rest of The Beatles were furious at his remarks, and Sir Paul was apparently distraught at their interpretation. The Economist, "We can’t work it out Fifty years ago The Beatles changed how bands broke up," 10 Apr. 2020 Lively plays Stephanie Patrick, a distraught woman looking for answers following her family's deaths in a plane crash three years prior. Ariana Brockington, refinery29.com, "How Come No One Told Us The Night King Is In The Rhythm Section Cast?," 30 Jan. 2020

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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distraught. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for distraught


How to pronounce distraught (audio)

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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