\ 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

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

Damage to the town was estimated to be around $7 million, according to Sky-Hi News, the local newspaper that turned out to be one of the targets of Heemeyer’s wrath. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "It’s been 15 years since Marvin Heemeyer terrorized a Colorado mountain town with his armored bulldozer," 3 June 2019 Pointing this out can incur the wrath of the president. Katie Rogers, New York Times, "Is North Korea a Nuclear Threat or Not? The President Now Says It Is," 22 June 2018 The wrath of the Democratic left in November might be less severe if Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation is assured before North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and Indiana’s Joe Donnelly let the voters in on their decision. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Progress," 30 July 2018 The city announced at 4 p.m. that Alberto's wrath had forced organizers to cancel the 6 p.m. Beach Concert that was to feature Shaggy and the artists MAX and Kent Jones. Martin Vassolo, miamiherald, "Shaggy: It wasn't me, it was Alberto; reggae star's Miami Beach show canceled | Miami Herald," 26 May 2018 But in 2005 this backwater bank incurred the wrath and might of the world’s financial hegemon. The Economist, "The long arm of the dollar," 19 May 2018 New video shows the fiery wrath of Kilauea bearing down on the neighborhood of Leilani Estates. CBS News, "New vents spewing lava, gas open up in Hawaii neighborhood," 8 May 2018 The economic wrath of Hurricane Harvey was short-lived. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Dallas Fed trumpets strong 2018 outlook for Texas economy," 9 Jan. 2018 In the post-Cold War 21st century, Russia is unlikely to find countries willing to host nuclear missiles pointed at the United States and incur America's wrath. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As a Key Arms-Control Treaty Is Set to Die, Russia Threatens to Target U.S. with New Nukes," 20 Feb. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near wrath

wrap up




Wrath, Cape



Statistics for wrath

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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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

formal + old-fashioned : extreme anger


\ ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio) \

Kids Definition of wrath

: violent anger : rage

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrath

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrath

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrath

Spanish Central: Translation of wrath

Nglish: Translation of wrath for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrath for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wrath

What made you want to look up wrath? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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