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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

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
Thanks to the substantial chunk of Dodger supporters on hand, the free-agent superstar who spurned San Francisco hasn’t received too much wrath from the home fans. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 14 May 2024 The film will trace the trajectory of Shostakovich’s life and career, beginning in 1936 when the 30-year-old composer first faced Stalin’s wrath after one of his operas is condemned as counter-revolutionary. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for wrath 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wrath.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: violent anger
: punishment for sin or crime

More from Merriam-Webster on wrath

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