What does anguish mean?

Definitions for anguish
ˈæŋ gwɪʃan·guish

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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  

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. Virginia:

    The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

  2. Donald Trump:

    While reopening the government is long overdue, I will not celebrate a temporary reprieve to a politically motivated crisis that has left many federal employees in anguish over how to pay their bills, feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads.

  3. Hector Berlioz:

    Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.

  4. The Democratic governor:

    Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire, the fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard. Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world - and the world is watching.

  5. Tim Walz:

    The fire is still smoldering in our streets. The ashes are symbolic of decades and generations of pain, of anguish unheard. Now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world - and the world is watching.

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Translations for anguish

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • معاناةArabic
  • измъчвам, страдам, мъчение, терзание, страдание, измъчвам сеBulgarian
  • Todesangst, Kreuz, AgonieGerman
  • υποφέρω, μαρτύριο, αγωνιώ, βασανίζομαι, πονώ, αγωνία, βασανίζω, οδύνηGreek
  • anxtia, angustia, angustiar, congojaSpanish
  • غم و اندوهPersian
  • kärsimys, tuskaFinnish
  • croix, affres de la mort, calvaire, angoisse de la mortFrench
  • ard-ghuinnManx
  • gyötrelem, kín, gyötrődés, aggodalomHungarian
  • deritaIndonesian
  • soffrire, croce, angoscia, agonia, ambascia, penare, addolorare, calvarioItalian
  • צַעַרHebrew
  • داخKurdish
  • angustiaLatin
  • auētangaMāori
  • doodsangst, doodsstrijd, martelen, martelgang, lijden, hevig, agonieDutch
  • cierpieniePolish
  • agonia, angústiaPortuguese
  • chinui, chin, suferi, agonieRomanian
  • мучить, страдание, му́ка, тоска, терзание, мучениеRussian
  • agonija, patitiSerbo-Croatian

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    "anguish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/anguish>.

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    be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    • A. demolish
    • B. depend
    • C. carry
    • D. blur

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