Synonym Chooser

How is the word grief different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of grief are anguish, regret, sorrow, and woe. While all these words mean "distress of mind," grief implies poignant sorrow for an immediate cause.

the inexpressible grief of the bereaved parents

When is it sensible to use anguish instead of grief?

The meanings of anguish and grief largely overlap; however, anguish suggests torturing grief or dread.

the anguish felt by the parents of the kidnapped child

When would regret be a good substitute for grief?

The words regret and grief are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, regret implies pain caused by deep disappointment, fruitless longing, or unavailing remorse.

nagging regret for missed opportunities

When is sorrow a more appropriate choice than grief?

While the synonyms sorrow and grief are close in meaning, sorrow implies a sense of loss or a sense of guilt and remorse.

a family united in sorrow upon the patriarch's death

When might woe be a better fit than grief?

The synonyms woe and grief are sometimes interchangeable, but woe is deep or inconsolable grief or misery.

cries of woe echoed throughout the bombed city

Thesaurus Entries Near grief

Cite this Entry

“Grief.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on grief

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