\ 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 upgets 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 is 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 naked pain, dignity, wit and courage these stories consistently embody fill us with a steady, wrought comfort. Joan Frank, Washington Post, "The cranky, bossy, sad, brave, beloved Olive Kitteridge is back in ‘Olive, Again’ — and better than ever," 8 Oct. 2019 Under a splattering of graffiti, Spanish abuelas sweep their stoops as the sun peeks over wrought iron balconies. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Eat and Shop in Malasaña, the Williamsburg of Madrid," 22 July 2018 Small plates, such as fine-wrought fish crudos, sing. Houston Chronicle, "Alison Cook's Top 10 Houston restaurants," 10 May 2018 On April 2 and 3, Kamilah Forbes, executive producer at the Apollo Theater in New York City, spun the essence of an already emotionally wrought work of art into something more. Angela Helm, The Root, "Kamilah Forbes’ Beautiful Struggle: Bringing Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me to the Stage," 10 Apr. 2018 Everything about her remains sleek and angular: her lean figure; that famous face, with its Masai-shield cheekbones and long, thin, delicately wrought nose; her bobbed hair, with not a strand out of place. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Picasso's Muse is 93, Paints Every Day, and Just Published a New Book," 17 Nov. 2015

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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Time Traveler for wrought

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Wrought.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrought?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=w&file=wrough01. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrought

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrought

Spanish Central: Translation of wrought

Nglish: Translation of wrought for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrought for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wrought

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contradictory or incongruous words

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