wrath

1 of 2

noun

ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio)
chiefly British
ˈrȯth How to pronounce wrath (audio)
1
: strong vengeful anger or indignation
2
: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement

wrath

2 of 2

adjective

ˈrath How to pronounce wrath (audio)
 chiefly British  ˈrȯth
archaic
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
Noun
At the same time, professional stylists are feeling the wrath of the new grass wall stylists. Essence, 8 Apr. 2024 Congress will have a limited set of choices: Allow all the popular tax breaks to expire and risk the wrath of voters. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 To ancient civilizations, an eclipse was seen as a dark omen that often signified the wrath of their gods. Elissaveta M. Brandon, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Apr. 2024 In the second act, the wrath of the Lloronas, the ghostly spirits of women scorned, take their revenge. Marcia Luttrell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Mar. 2024 Like Khan, Sharif is no stranger to the military establishment’s wrath and legal cases, which prematurely ended his past three terms as prime minister. Kyra Colah, Fox News, 8 Feb. 2024 No surface is clear, no cabinet is safe from the wrath of this woman. Bon Appétit Contributor, Bon Appétit, 22 Mar. 2024 Targeted by the cops His frequent stops in Detroit finally brought the wrath of Detroit police. Michael Jackman, Detroit Free Press, 9 Mar. 2024 Even so, there was no law compelling police departments to release them on their own, and by and large these agencies played it safe rather than incur the wrath of overlapping city personnel protections and potential claims of officer rights violations. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, 9 Mar. 2024

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

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English wrǣththo, from wrāth wroth — more at wroth

Adjective

alteration of wroth

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

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 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wrath

noun
ˈrath
1
: violent anger
2
: punishment for sin or crime

More from Merriam-Webster on wrath

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