\ 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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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

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 His meddling risks making OPEC, the oil cartel that is a focus of his wrath, look like a paragon of predictability. The Economist, "The American president is stirring up trouble in a volatile oil market," 4 July 2018 The objects of his wrath need to be nice to him, or else. Xavier Legrand, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Custody,’ a Father Terrorizes His Family," 27 June 2018 The targets of his wrath, meanwhile, are actively preparing for the crackdown to come within this European Union and NATO member. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "Viktor Orban promised ‘revenge’ against his enemies in Hungary. Now they’re preparing for it.," 14 May 2018 Tawana set rules—no bad grades, no unstructured time—and Tommy went about enforcing them rather than stressing her out or risking her wrath. Jack Dickey, SI.com, "Tommy Pham Waited Forever to Make It. Now, He's Got Plenty to Say About His Journey.," 2 Apr. 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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Dictionary Entries near wrath

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Wrath, Cape



Statistics for wrath

Last Updated

18 Aug 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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Comments on wrath

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