in·​dig·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce indignation (audio) \

Definition of indignation

: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean

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Synonyms & Antonyms for indignation



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anger, ire, rage, fury, indignation, wrath mean an intense emotional state induced by displeasure. anger, the most general term, names the reaction but by itself does not convey cause or intensity. tried to hide his anger ire, more frequent in literary contexts, suggests an intense anger, often with an evident display of feeling. cheeks flushed with ire rage and fury suggest loss of self-control from violence of emotion. shook with rage could not contain his fury indignation stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful. a comment that caused general indignation wrath is likely to suggest a desire or intent to punish or get revenge. I feared her wrath if I was discovered

Examples of indignation in a Sentence

I am eager to concede that in our cataclysmic world this is a little misfortune, arousing even in me only the kind of indignation that could be thoroughly vented in a long footnote somewhere. — Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam, (1998) 2005 It's good to bear the preceding in mind when trying to comprehend the indignation with which the East Coast establishment greets work that dares to be both funny and deadly serious in the same breath. — Tom Robbins, Harper's, September 2004 … in his reverie, while his wife swooped back and forth with sheets of last year's leaves and bundles of brisk directives, his brooding mind warmed his old indignation at not having been invited to that party given by his then recently forsaken inamorata. — John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994 The decision to close the factory has aroused the indignation of the townspeople. He adopted a tone of moral indignation.
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Recent Examples on the Web Her style is emotion and indignation, histrionics and fantasy. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Greta Thunberg Is the Perfect Hero for an Unserious Time," 11 Dec. 2019 To many Malaysians, the surprising thing about this episode was not the reflexive sexism of the bureaucracy, but the fact that the bureaucrats changed course in response to the indignation. The Economist, "When make-up is essential The reflexive sexism of Malaysia’s bureaucrats," 30 Apr. 2020 The mood in Feltre—among Italians and expatriates alike—was that of indignation. Kenneth R. Rosen, The New Yorker, "Under Lockdown in Italy’s Coronavirus-Quarantine Zone," 27 Feb. 2020 In other words, their loud talk, their indignation, their runaway-slave rage made the organizers quake. Frank B. Wilderson Iii, Harper's Magazine, "Color Theory," 30 Mar. 2020 At the heart of the new progressivism was indignation, sometimes rage, about ongoing injustice against groups of Americans who had always been relegated to the outskirts of power and dignity. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality," 18 Sep. 2019 On Sunday, the scene was met with the wrath of Twitter users' indignation. Margaret Littman, Fortune, "Where the green beer and good times usually flow, there’s only worry on this St. Patrick’s Day," 17 Mar. 2020 Some indignation reflects a trend seen in other countries: a distrust of technocrats who defend migration as an economic necessity. The Economist, "Chaguan A proposal to help a few foreigners settle in China triggers a furore," 12 Mar. 2020 Algorithms give priority to content that maximises our attention and to content that causes anger and indignation. Madeline Roache, Time, "This Researcher Juggled Five Different Identities to Go Undercover With Far-Right and Islamist Extremists. Here's What She Found," 18 Feb. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indignation

see indignant

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Time Traveler for indignation

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

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Statistics for indignation

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indignation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for indignation


How to pronounce indignation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of indignation

: anger caused by something that is unfair or wrong


in·​dig·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce indignation (audio) \

Kids Definition of indignation

: anger caused by something unjust or unworthy

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