in·​dig·​na·​tion ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce indignation (audio)
: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean
Choose the Right Synonym for indignation

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, in a wider climate of growing international indignation at the collateral damage of Israel’s war in Gaza, many workers see Google’s firing of Hatfield as an attempt at silencing a growing threat to its business. Billy Perrigo, TIME, 8 Apr. 2024 Netanyahu's comments came as Israel faced a wave of indignation from humanitarian organizations and foreign leaders about the deadly strike. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 2 Apr. 2024 The film’s chief purpose seems to be chronicling the drama of Sturdy Colls’s defeat at the hands of the islanders and resultant indignation. Rebecca Panovka, Harper's Magazine, 9 Feb. 2024 For now, try to let some of the righteous indignation go and save the ground-standing for issues like voting and religion. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024 Following a debate that included Bible references and indignation, the Kentucky House passed a controversial bill Tuesday that could block Louisville and other local governments from prohibiting source-of-income discrimination in housing. Eleanor McCrary, The Courier-Journal, 24 Jan. 2024 Hilton’s prose carries the twin forces of indignation and adverse experience. Simon Parkin, The New Yorker, 18 Feb. 2024 Farmers have a long history of indignation, especially in France, and their latest moment is not confined to Europe. Nayla Razzouk, Fortune Europe, 13 Feb. 2024 In their own opening statements, attorneys for the defendants each expressed indignation over the mere fact that the case was going to trial, especially since Sanders himself has not been charged with a crime. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 22 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


see indignant

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near indignation

Cite this Entry

“Indignation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​dig·​na·​tion ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce indignation (audio)
: anger caused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean

More from Merriam-Webster on indignation

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!