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ha·​rangue hə-ˈraŋ How to pronounce harangue (audio)
: a speech addressed to a public assembly
listening to his capacious harangue and its immaculate deliverySir Winston Churchill
: a ranting speech or writing
emotional and frequently violent haranguesK. E. Read
the long, tiresome harangue so characteristic of … books on the subjectJ. H. Donnelly
: lecture
gave me a harangue on the subject of my poor grades


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harangued; haranguing

intransitive verb

: to make a harangue (see harangue entry 1) : declaim
poets … and philosophers recited their works, and harangued for diversionTobias Smollett

transitive verb

: to address in a harangue
haranguing me … on the folly of my waysJay Jacobs
haranguer noun

Did you know?

In Old Italian, the noun aringo referred to a public assembly, the verb aringare meant "to speak in public," and the noun aringa referred to a public speech. Aringa was borrowed into Middle French as arenge, and it is from this form that we get our noun harangue, which made its first appearance in English in the 16th century. Perhaps due to the bombastic or exasperated nature of some public speeches, the term quickly developed an added sense referring to a speech or writing in the style of a rant (though the word rant is not etymologically related). There is also a verb harangue, which refers to the act of making such a speech.

Examples of harangue in a Sentence

Noun He delivered a long harangue about the evils of popular culture. launched into a long harangue about poor customer service without realizing that I wasn't even an employee! Verb He harangued us for hours about the evils of popular culture. the eminent professor harangued for three hours on his favorite subject, the clash of East and West
Recent Examples on the Web
The result has been a policy with all the appeal of a moral principle and all the effectiveness of a tired harangue. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 4 July 2023 The harangue was, seemingly, Strickland’s last line of defense as his restaurant headed into the holidays without its liquor licenses, which ABC had officially suspended on Nov. 15 because the owner had refused to follow coronavirus restrictions during the height of the pandemic. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2022 Befitting its earlier title, Americana is a spirited harangue on deadbeat roommates, psychobabbling girlfriends, felonious buddies, trendy tattoos, four-by-fours—the whole morass of tacky, polyglot American culture as experienced from a suburban sofa. Chris Norris, SPIN, 4 Sep. 2022 The harangue started almost immediately. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 Nov. 2021 But even those have become increasingly arrogant, such as the harangue given by the Best Live Action Short winner with the suspicious name Travon Free (a Daily Show comedy writer and co-director of Netflix’s anti-cop paranoid horror comedy Two Distant Strangers). Armond White, National Review, 28 Apr. 2021 But McKay’s movies are not particularly pointed in their satire and, as time has gone on, have increasingly settled into their preferred form of a harangue. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 22 Dec. 2021 Each of the men was photographed or caught on video during Wednesday’s violent insurrection after Trump delivered a two-hour harangue insisting his loss to President-elect Joe Biden came in a rigged election. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 9 Jan. 2021 Despite attempts to cajole, harangue and win them over — even with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — McCarthy has fallen short. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 3 Jan. 2023
She was accustomed to the occasional angry parent stopping her in a parking lot and haranguing her for promoting sin. Greg Jaffe and Patrick Marley, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Aug. 2023 Roberts suspects that those who once harangued them as children don’t want the evidence displayed. Bracey Harris, NBC News, 18 Aug. 2023 White citizens began gathering in the courthouse square, where Kasper harangued them about their right to ignore Brown. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 The man accused of haranguing Starr’s daughter, Josef Tesar, spoke with The Post in a conversation alongside his son, who is also named Josef Tesar. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 16 June 2023 The push caps years of pressure from conservative activists who have harangued such academics online and in person and filed open-records requests to obtain the correspondence of those working at public universities. Naomi Nix, Joseph Menn, Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2023 Advertisement The push caps years of pressure from conservative activists who have harangued such academics online and in person and filed open-records requests to obtain the correspondence of those working at public universities. Joseph Menn, Washington Post, 6 June 2023 In the doc, Blume recounts her appearance on an episode of Crossfire when she was harangued by Pat Buchanan. Esther Zuckerman, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 May 2023 Trump harangued Durham along the way, asking about the lack of criminal charges. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 15 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'harangue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle French arenge, from Old Italian aringa, from aringare to speak in public, from aringo public assembly, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hring ring

First Known Use


circa 1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1640, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of harangue was circa 1533


Dictionary Entries Near harangue

Cite this Entry

“Harangue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harangue. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a speech addressed to a public assembly
: a forceful or scolding speech or writing
harangue verb

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