\ ˈrȯt How to pronounce wrought (audio) \

Definition of wrought

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past tense and past participle of work



Definition of wrought (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : worked into shape by artistry or effort carefully wrought essays
2 : elaborately embellished : ornamented
3 : processed for use : manufactured wrought silk
4 : beaten into shape by tools : hammered used of metals
5 : deeply stirred : excited often used with up gets easily wrought up over nothing

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The Uses of Wrought

Wrought may function as the past or the past participle form of the verb work. While not as common as it once was, this past-tense form still is encountered in such combinations as "wrought havoc." Since "wreak havoc" is also a familiar pairing, many people assume that wrought is the past tense of wreak, but the two are actually distinct. Although it still exists as a verb, wrought is more often used today as an adjective, a role in which it has a number of meanings. Most of these are found referring to things or materials which have been in some way worked by people (as in wrought iron or "carefully wrought prose"), but one sense ("deeply stirred") is typically used in describing emotions. When employed in this sense, wrought is often found paired with up (as in "he found himself wrought up over the news").

Examples of wrought in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The tall structure stands out among newer construction, a huge cross embedded in its front and wrought-iron Star of David window frames visible from the sidewalk. Naomi Waxman, sun-sentinel.com, 14 July 2021 Getting thrown out of a window and impaled on a wrought-iron fence is a hell of a way to go. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 14 June 2021 Garcia sat casually in a wrought-iron chair below a patio umbrella, wearing a pink blazer and a necklace that spelled out her first name in gold letters. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 1 May 2021 Step inside and it’s like entering a museum, with carved marble columns and a sweeping stone staircase with delicate, wrought-iron railings. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 27 Apr. 2021 Mehring’s Big Ben favors the famous London clock tower right down to the Roman numerals and neo-Gothic design, while her take on Paris’ skyline icon mirrors Gustave Eiffel’s wrought-iron lattice work from top to toe. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Apr. 2021 The Spanish-Caribbean architecture, with its wrought-iron balconies, covered porticoes and shuttered windows, protects residents from the sun but also deflects prying eyes. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2020 The naked pain, dignity, wit and courage these stories consistently embody fill us with a steady, wrought comfort. Joan Frank, Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2019 Under a splattering of graffiti, Spanish abuelas sweep their stoops as the sun peeks over wrought iron balconies. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, 22 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wrought.' 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 wrought


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wrought


Middle English, from past participle of worken to work

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Learn More About wrought

Time Traveler for wrought

Time Traveler

The first known use of wrought was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near wrought



wrought iron

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Cite this Entry

“Wrought.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrought. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for wrought



English Language Learners Definition of wrought

formal + old-fashioned : carefully formed or worked into shape


Kids Definition of wrought

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past tense and past participle of work


\ ˈrȯt How to pronounce wrought (audio) \

Kids Definition of wrought (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : beaten into shape by tools wrought metals
2 : much too excited … Miss Elson was on the verge of tears, she was so wrought up.— Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

More from Merriam-Webster on wrought

Nglish: Translation of wrought for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrought for Arabic Speakers


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