\ ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio) , chiefly British ˈrȯth How to pronounce wrath (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wrath (audio) , chiefly British ˈrȯth \

Definition of wrath (Entry 2 of 2)


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Synonyms & Antonyms for wrath

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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 wrath in a Sentence

Noun 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 Adjective … 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 Although the flooding of 1868 made a significant impression on those who survived its wrath, Hurricane Agnes remains the deadliest in Maryland’s history. Davie Buie, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 24 July 2021 Surprising his aides, Trump saved his wrath for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 14 July 2021 While the Covid-19 pandemic spared no country its biological wrath, perhaps no region has been hit harder economically than Latin America. Natalie Gallón, CNN, 8 June 2021 Arab Al Qaeda fighters and their families, all killed in the waning days of 2001, when America first unleashed its wrath on Afghanistan. Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 Sometimes frightened assistants hid in the kitchen or a closet to escape his wrath. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2021 Stradford said others in his community ran and hid, because typically what would happen is that the whites would unleash their wrath on the entire black community. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Mar. 2021 Those on the East Coast will remember, back in 2019, when a record-breaking eight-month freeze sucked all the moisture out of the air — unfortunately for me, my skin didn’t evade its wrath. Kala Herh, NBC News, 10 Mar. 2021 After Devereux’s father died, his mother would incur the queen’s wrath by secretly marrying Elizabeth’s longtime favorite, Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. Colin T. Eisler, WSJ, 16 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for wrath

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

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Dictionary Entries Near wrath



Wrath, Cape

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wrath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrath. Accessed 6 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of wrath

formal + old-fashioned : extreme anger


\ ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio) \

Kids Definition of wrath

: violent anger : rage

More from Merriam-Webster on wrath

Nglish: Translation of wrath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrath for Arabic Speakers


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