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 Welch said Brenda was visibly distraught during the interview and expressed concern about not being able to talk to her mother or other family members. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 26 May 2021 Near them sat a distraught Guatemalan father and his 7-year-old son. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2021 In the nine-minute, 47-second call, the woman sounds increasingly distraught, and two men can be heard talking in the background. New York Times, 15 May 2021 Police body camera footage shows a distraught neighbor approach an officer with alarming information. Chris O'connell, CBS News, 7 May 2021 Toward the film’s end, a distraught Bodega Bay resident blames Melanie’s arrival with the lovebirds as the inciting incident for the attacks. Brooke Knisley, Vulture, 22 Apr. 2021 The site's members, the loyal few that remain, are distraught and devastated. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 6 Apr. 2021 Yet in another case, detectives thought that 16-year-old Jeffrey Deskovic seemed too distraught and too eager to help detectives after his high school classmate was found strangled. Jessica Seigel, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Mar. 2021 When asked what happened, the distraught man began to cry and collapsed onto the steps in a stairwell. cleveland, 25 Feb. 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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distraught. Accessed 16 Jun. 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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