in·​dig·​na·​tion | \ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of indignation 

: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean

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Synonyms & Antonyms for indignation


anger, angriness, birse [chiefly Scottish], choler, furor, fury, irateness, ire, lividity, lividness, mad, madness, mood [archaic], outrage, rage, spleen, wrath, wrathfulness


delight, pleasure

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His self-righteous indignation was uncontrolled at such cheating in the purity of the NFL, an organization where criminal activity, spousal abuse, child abuse and intentional maiming are the part of the agenda., "Letters: Jansen will get no relief from the fans," 7 Apr. 2018 Last year’s Origins starred Bayek, a flawed but well-developed character who routinely struggled with political indignation. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Assassin’s Creed Odyssey," 4 Oct. 2018 So far, Trump’s advisers have adopted a posture of umbrage and indignation. Washington Post, "The Health 202: This year's top 10 new drugs," 9 Jan. 2018 As Coutinho — 26 that day — reacted in mock indignation, Neymar buckled with laughter. Rory Smith, New York Times, "All Eyes Are on Neymar, but It’s Coutinho Who Is Leading Brazil," 28 June 2018 In Germany — Europe’s biggest economy and a top target of Trump’s ire on trade — there was indignation over the outcome of the G-7 summit. Washington Post, "European leaders are outraged by Trump over G-7 statement. But they’re not surprised.," 10 June 2018 In Germany - Europe’s biggest economy and a top target of Trump’s ire on trade - there was indignation over the outcome of the G-7 summit., "European leaders are outraged by Trump’s G-7 stance, but they’re not surprised," 10 June 2018 More broadly, Trump’s indignation that the U.S. spends a higher percentage of its GDP on defense than European countries is difficult to understand. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump at NATO Summit: Germany Is ‘Captive to Russia’," 11 July 2018 There was breathless incredulity as Wonder Gadot drew neck and neck with Monomoy Girl in the lane, hope and indignation as the foul was lodged. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Foul or not, Wonder Gadot adds dramatic flair to Kentucky Oaks 2018 with runner-up finish," 4 May 2018

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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Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for indignation

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

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More Definitions for indignation



English Language Learners Definition of indignation

: anger caused by something that is unfair or wrong


in·​dig·​na·​tion | \ˌin-dig-ˈnā-shən \

Kids Definition of indignation

: anger caused by something unjust or unworthy

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