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ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio)
chiefly British
ˈrȯth How to pronounce wrath (audio)
: strong vengeful anger or indignation
: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement


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ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio)
 chiefly British  ˈrȯth
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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Namor is regaled in paradox and not completely unjustified in his wrath. WIRED, 11 Nov. 2022 But after a few days most of their wrath will be turned on Mr. Biden, first in sharp, hot not-for-attribution quotes and then very-much-for-attribution quotes. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 Weeks later, McCarthy, knowing Trump remained the party’s lodestar and fearing his wrath, flew to Mar-a-Lago. Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Last year, with the pandemic wielding its full wrath on the economy, more than 600,000 households in California were behind on their water bills, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Oct. 2022 It’s rather an odd statement, since those members are actually pissed, and venting their wrath across social media. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 6 Oct. 2022 Even with a callow receiving corps that has earned his wrath at times, A-Rod is a problem. Christopher L. Gasper, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Sep. 2022 But a new missile set to enter service in 2027 is radically different: the new Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) will fly up to 20 times faster, giving adversaries little time to escape its wrath. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 28 Sep. 2022 Members of the public seem almost inured to such disclosures, selectively voicing their wrath along strictly party lines. Ted Gup, CNN, 29 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



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


alteration of wroth

First Known Use


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


1535, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near wrath

Cite this Entry

“Wrath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrath. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: violent anger
: punishment for sin or crime

More from Merriam-Webster on wrath

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