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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Upon release, documents state that Hayes later learned his wife was dating someone else and became distraught. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Mar. 2022 Back in Alaska, some of the people who were waiting for the bees to arrive were distraught to find out what happened. Abby Bustin And Caroline Kucera, CNN, 29 Apr. 2022 Peggy Schott was worried about the girls, and about her grandson, who was becoming increasingly distraught. Molly Parker, ProPublica, 22 Apr. 2022 Sofia had become increasingly distraught, and would beg her mother to go back to the bomb shelter even during moments of relative calm. Kate Tsurkan, The New Yorker, 30 Mar. 2022 In his law office on Brand Boulevard, Yeghiayan, the man who had dreamed up the litigation, became increasingly distraught. Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 As far as Baumgartner can tell, the look in Ed’s eyes is both hopeful and distraught. Paul Auster, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 The first day of the criminal trial for former Lonoke County sheriff's deputy Michael Davis ended with body camera footage showing the graphic and distraught aftermath of the fatal shooting of teen Hunter Brittain. Teresa Moss, Arkansas Online, 16 Mar. 2022 While Natalie wanted to work on their problems, Shayne was too distraught to know what to do next. ELLE, 26 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distraught. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for distraught


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

Kids Definition of distraught

: very upset

More from Merriam-Webster on distraught

Nglish: Translation of distraught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distraught for Arabic Speakers


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