\ˈrath, chiefly British ˈrȯth \

Definition of wrath 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : strong vengeful anger or indignation

2 : retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement


\ˈrath, chiefly British ˈrȯth\

Definition of wrath (Entry 2 of 2)


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Synonyms & Antonyms for wrath

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Noun

delight, pleasure

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Choose the Right Synonym for wrath


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 wrath in a Sentence


That winter it rained in Los Angeles for three months straight, as if I had brought with me a terrible wrath that somehow agitated the atmosphere, releasing a flood of rain. — Patrick Moore, Tweaked, 2006 … Reagan raised the bar for every political performer who followed. A president or presidential candidate now had to be smooth or suffer the wrath of the press. — Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie, 1998 More Wrath than Terror, has seized me. I am very mad. — John Adams 26 Apr. 1777, in The Book of Abigail and John1975 the wrath of the gods waited until my initial wrath had eased before voicing my complaint


… Take heed the Queen come not within his sight; / For Oberon is passing fell and wrath … — William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1596

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Or voting yes and facing the wrath of voters, who will want to know why there's money for such frivolities and not for special education or janitors to clean our filthy schools. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Politics / Transportation Another whopper from Rahm: express service to O'Hare that won’t cost the public," 18 June 2018 Eight years later, after winning the 2012 National League rookie of the year and 2015 MVP, the five-time All-Star faces the wrath once again. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo defends Bryce Harper, calls anonymous exec 'chicken' and 'gutless'," 13 June 2018 Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus find refuge from Herod’s wrath in Egypt, returning only after Herod’s death. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Top Trump evangelical ally: Jesus never broke immigration law," 11 July 2018 In the Bible’s book of Samuel, a traitor escapes the wrath of Israel’s King David by hiding in a nearby town. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Could This Sculpted Head Depict a Little-Known Biblical King?," 11 June 2018 In another, far darker continuity, Hank attacks Janet, who has shrunk to miniature size to escape his wrath, with RAID and a hoard of gigantic ants. refinery29.com, "Ant-Man & The Wasp Have A Disturbing Incident Of Domestic Abuse In Their Past," 5 July 2018 Keeping a launch safe during liftoff is a matter of protecting the range and the public from a rocket’s wrath. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Smart Robots Are the Secret to Spaceflight's Future," 15 June 2018 Only a few tree stumps of ancient oaks twisted and broken by high winds from the storm are the only reminders of the hurricane’s wrath. Ralph Winingham, San Antonio Express-News, "Hiking, biking bonanza: Rockport community showcases up-close views of nature," 31 May 2018 Kirstjen Nielsen, Scott Pruitt, Stephen Miller, Elaine Chao, and, in the most high-profile case, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have all felt the wrath of citizen anger in recent weeks. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Bookstore Owner Calls Cops After Woman Accosts Steve Bannon," 8 July 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wrath


Middle English, from Old English wrǣththo, from wrāth wroth — more at wroth


alteration of wroth

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Wrath, Cape



Statistics for wrath

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for wrath

The first known use of wrath was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of wrath

: extreme anger


\ˈrath \

Kids Definition of wrath

: violent anger : rage

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