What does Anguish mean?

Definitions for Anguish
ˈæŋ gwɪʃan·guish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Anguish.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. anguish, torment, torturenoun

    extreme mental distress

  2. anguishverb

    extreme distress of body or mind

  3. anguishverb

    suffer great pains or distress

  4. pain, anguish, hurtverb

    cause emotional anguish or make miserable

    "It pains me to see my children not being taught well in school"


  1. anguishnoun

    Extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress.

  2. anguishverb

    To suffer pain.

  3. anguishverb

    To cause to suffer pain.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Anguishnoun

    Excessive pain either of mind or body; applied to the mind, it means the pain of sorrow, and is seldom used to signify other passions.

    Etymology: angoisse, Fr. angor, Lat.

    Not all so cheerful seemed she of sight,
    As was her sister; whether dread did dwell,
    Or anguish in her heart, is hard to tell. Fairy Queen, b. i.

    Virtue’s but anguish, when ’tis several,
    By occasion wak’d, and circumstantial;
    True virtue’s soul, always in all deeds all. John Donne.

    They had persecutors, whose invention was as great as their cruelty. Wit and malice conspired to find out such deaths, and those of such incredible anguish, that only the manner of dying was the punishment, death itself the deliverance. South.

    Perpetual anguish fills his anxious breast,
    Not stopt by business, nor compos’d by rest;
    No musick cheers him, nor no feast can please. John Dryden, Juv.


  1. anguish

    Anguish is a profound mental or emotional state of intense suffering or distress, often characterized by feelings of extreme unhappiness, pain, or despair. It can be caused by traumatic experiences, major life changes, or difficult circumstances.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Anguishnoun

    extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress

  2. Anguishverb

    to distress with extreme pain or grief

  3. Etymology: [Cf. F. angoisser, fr. L. angustiare.]


  1. Anguish

    Anguish is a term used in philosophy, often as a translation from the Latin for angst. It is a paramount feature of existentialist philosophy, in which anguish is often understood as the experience of an utterly free being in a world with zero absolutes. In the theology of Kierkegaard, it refers to a being with total free will who is in a constant state of spiritual fear that his freedom will lead him to fall short of the standards that God has laid out for him. In the teachings of Sartre, anguish is seen when an utterly captured being realizes the unpredictability of his or her action. For an example, when walking along a cliff, you would feel anguish to know that you have the freedom to throw yourself down to your imminent death.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Anguish

    ang′gwish, n. excessive pain of body or mind: agony.—n. Ang′uishment. [O. Fr. angoisse—L. angustia, a strait, straitness—ang-u-ĕre, to press tightly: to strangle. See Anger.]

Editors Contribution

  1. anguish

    anguish: deep and enduring physical, mental or spiritual distress, not readily eased.

    Physical: feelings and thoughts during and following military combat; feelings and thoughts following loss of one's own limb or limbs (These can also be mental anguish.) Mental: feelings and thoughts after the loss of a child either due to illness, accident or spontaneous abortion. Spiritual: One struggling with the question of God's existence; one struggling with the guilt of causing someone pain.

    Submitted by anonymous on March 4, 2019  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Anguish is ranked #63873 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Anguish surname appeared 312 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Anguish.

    91.3% or 285 total occurrences were White.
    3.2% or 10 total occurrences were Black.
    2.5% or 8 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.6% or 5 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Anguish?

How to say Anguish in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Anguish in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Anguish in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Anguish in a Sentence

  1. Nathan Louis Campbell:

    I was responsible for a terrible incident that has caused lasting physical pain and mental anguish for several people, this was not an intentional act. It was a horrible accident due to a combined set of circumstances including my own bad judgment, confusion, panic and fear.

  2. Christine Blasey Ford:

    Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.

  3. Donald Trump:

    It was the beginning of a barbaric trade of human lives, today in honor, we remember every sacred soul who suffered the horrors of slavery and the anguish of bondage.

  4. Lauret Savoy:

    I’ve struggled to find a word that could hold in its meaning both the attack and my experience of it. The closest I found is this: ‘severe or excruciating pain or suffering (of body or mind); anguish, agony, torment; the infliction of such.’ This is a definition of torture, for four hours I experienced literal torture of body and of mind, not knowing if I would survive the next minute—yet needing to find some way to save my life.

  5. President Obama:

    In one afternoon 50 years ago, so much of our turbulent history -- the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher -- met on this bridge.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Anguish

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • معاناةArabic
  • терзание, измъчвам, страдам, мъчение, измъчвам се, страданиеBulgarian
  • Todesangst, Agonie, KreuzGerman
  • βασανίζω, υποφέρω, βασανίζομαι, αγωνία, οδύνη, πονώ, αγωνιώ, μαρτύριοGreek
  • angustia, congoja, angustiar, anxtiaSpanish
  • غم و اندوهPersian
  • kärsimys, tuskaFinnish
  • croix, angoisse de la mort, affres de la mort, calvaireFrench
  • ard-ghuinnManx
  • gyötrelem, gyötrődés, aggodalom, kínHungarian
  • deritaIndonesian
  • addolorare, soffrire, calvario, croce, agonia, angoscia, ambascia, penareItalian
  • צַעַרHebrew
  • داخKurdish
  • angustiaLatin
  • auētangaMāori
  • doodsangst, martelen, lijden, hevig, doodsstrijd, agonie, martelgangDutch
  • cierpieniePolish
  • agonia, angústiaPortuguese
  • chinui, agonie, suferi, chinRomanian
  • мучить, му́ка, страдание, мучение, тоска, терзаниеRussian
  • patiti, agonijaSerbo-Croatian
  • тугаUkrainian

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"Anguish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Anguish>.

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    in or of the month preceding the present one
    A arbitrary
    B ultimo
    C articulate
    D omnifarious

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