ha·​rangue | \ hə-ˈraŋ How to pronounce harangue (audio) \

Definition of harangue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a speech addressed to a public assembly listening to his capacious harangue and its immaculate delivery— Sir Winston Churchill
2 : a ranting speech or writing emotional and frequently violent harangues— K. E. Read the long, tiresome harangue so characteristic of … books on the subject— J. H. Donnelly
3 : lecture gave me a harangue on the subject of my poor grades


harangued; haranguing

Definition of harangue (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to address in a harangue haranguing me … on the folly of my ways— Jay Jacobs

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Other Words from harangue


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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During his Stelter harangue, Bongino — in typical, stream-of-consciouness mode — occasionally had to interrupt himself. Washington Post, "Dan Bongino isn’t just taking over where Rush Limbaugh left off — he’s building a conservative media universe," 20 Apr. 2021 They have been known to harangue lawmakers over any criticism in the press and reporters for offenses as unforgivable as not placing quotes from the governor high enough in their stories. New York Times, "Andrew Cuomo’s White-Knuckle Ride," 13 Apr. 2021 What solidified our resolve to buy and hold GameStop was how institutional investors reacted to our score, taking to Twitter and financial news programs to harangue and mock us. Anonymous, The New Republic, "I Bought Tens of Thousands of Dollars of GameStop Stock. And I Have No Regrets.," 1 Feb. 2021 The book, about a man who discovers Anne Frank hiding in his country-house attic, struggling to write a follow-up to her bestselling diaries, is a gloriously cathartic harangue about Judaism’s persecution... Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Family Meal," 18 Sep. 2020 Defense attorneys pointed out that during Christian’s harangue, TriMet surveillance video showed Christian looking directly at the girls for only 31 seconds. oregonlive, "Jeremy Christian guilty on all counts in MAX stabbings trial," 21 Feb. 2020 The loquacious San Francisco 49ers' cornerback always has a thought, opinion, retort, reply, instinct or handy harangue regarding just about anything. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Richard Sherman's voice is the wisest — and most compelling — voice at Super Bowl LIV," 29 Jan. 2020 But his go-back-where-you-came-from harangue tears it for me. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "Tiptoeing around Trump’s racism is a betrayal of journalistic truth-telling," 15 July 2019 Like Blake, Janina sees herself as a prophetic figure and is always ready with an outsider-y harangue. Rachel Riederer, The New Republic, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Gripping Eco-Mystery," 10 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At a recent public meeting convened by the Council to discuss the boar issue, hundreds of residents showed up to harangue her for three hours. New York Times, "Where Boars Hog the Streets," 9 Apr. 2021 Protesters first showed up on Nov. 24, banging on pots to harangue Garcetti. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Black Lives Matter and other activists protest possible Biden appointment for Garcetti," 30 Nov. 2020 There are hints, too, of mid-period Milan Kundera, blurring the author-narrator role to harangue the reader with theories and historical facts. Leo Robson, Harper's Magazine, "A Swing and Amis," 27 Oct. 2020 Larry would call, again and again, haranguing me for not writing enough about AIDS. Patrick Skerrett, STAT, "He was a ‘force of nature’: Anthony Fauci, Tom Frieden, and others remember Larry Kramer," 28 May 2020 His father harangued him to become a doctor, while the younger Dr. Alpert expressed interest in psychology. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — Ram Dass, a popular author and white-robed apostle of Eastern mysticism who began his transcendental journey more than 50 years ago as the right-hand disciple of psychedelic-drug advocate Timothy Leary, died Sunday at his home on Maui. He was 88.," 24 Dec. 2019 His father harangued him to become a doctor, while the younger Alpert expressed interest in psychology. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Ram Dass, spiritual seeker who brought Eastern mysticism to the masses, dies at 88," 23 Dec. 2019 Striking a balance between the desire of everyday people not to be harangued in public and rights of haranguers is often tricky. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Keep The Bean forever open, clear and free of preachers and protesters," 17 Sep. 2019 His daughter Sheikha Shamsa is said to have run away from her family in the summer of 2000 while visiting the U.K. She was later kidnapped and harangued into a car in Cambridge by men working for her father and forced on a jet back to Dubai. Fox News, "British judge determines Dubai ruler abducted two daughters, intimidated and threatened ex-wife," 7 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harangue.' 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 harangue


circa 1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1640, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for harangue

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

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Time Traveler for harangue

Time Traveler

The first known use of harangue was circa 1533

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harangue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harangue. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for harangue



English Language Learners Definition of harangue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a forceful or angry speech



English Language Learners Definition of harangue (Entry 2 of 2)

: to speak to (someone) in a forceful or angry way : to deliver a harangue to (someone)


ha·​rangue | \ hə-ˈraŋ How to pronounce harangue (audio) \

Kids Definition of harangue

: a scolding speech or writing

More from Merriam-Webster on harangue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harangue

Nglish: Translation of harangue for Spanish Speakers

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