1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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 verb aringare meant "to speak in public," the noun aringo referred to a public assembly, 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 with that same "public speech" meaning. Perhaps due to the bombastic or exasperated nature of some public speeches, the term quickly developed an added sense referring to a forceful or angry speech or piece of writing, making it a synonym of rant. By the mid-17th century, the verb harangue made it possible to harangue others with such speech or writing.

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
People with competing views talk past one another or, worse, as has been happening on campuses, especially since last October, harangue, harass, and silence each other. Lincoln Caplan, The New Yorker, 4 July 2024 At the center of the opinions and harangues, and often their target, is Asaf Sternheim, a writer and teacher at an unnamed elite university. Marc Tracy, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2024
Those who acquire the most valuable pieces are protective of their privacy over fears of theft and to avoid being harangued by other overeager toy buyers. Eva Rothenberg, CNN, 10 June 2024 Also in this hour: Emily harangues Luke and Lane and Zach start dating. Rachel Simon, Vulture, 6 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for harangue 

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 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on harangue

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!