Definition of anguish in English:

anguish

noun

  • Severe mental or physical pain or suffering.

    ‘she shut her eyes in anguish’
    ‘Philip gave a cry of anguish’
    • ‘He was unable to speak from exhaustion, physical pain and mental anguish.’
    • ‘She tried to get up but the stinging pain on her back caused her to cry out in anguish.’
    • ‘But if something had happened to me while I was there, I wouldn't have wanted the world to gnash its teeth in anguish and despair over me.’
    • ‘The film depicts how physical and mental anguish can distort our view of reality.’
    • ‘But deep down I felt for him because the pain and anguish he and his family went through was immense.’
    • ‘Alexander cried out in anguish, but was unable to move away from a final blow.’
    • ‘He says the trauma of that day continues to haunt him and has caused him severe mental anguish.’
    • ‘But when it takes literally years for a full inquest to be staged, families say the pain and anguish they suffer becomes that much worse.’
    • ‘He dropped to his knees and gathered up handfuls of dust and smeared them on his forehead and chest, crying aloud in anguish.’
    • ‘Wit changes to anguish to make up a very absorbing narrative.’
    • ‘My ankle began to throb and I cried out in anguish.’
    • ‘I cried in anguish, but I had to return to my school, a broken but wiser man.’
    • ‘Her face was set in anguish; eyes squeezed shut, her mouth twisted in sorrow.’
    • ‘And when I woke up today, I found a lot of the despair and anguish I had been feeling lately had left me.’
    • ‘I was in anguish, feeling the pain of my neighbours who had lost relatives.’
    • ‘Courts have rejected the claims of people who tried to recover damages for pain and suffering and for mental anguish.’
    • ‘I'm glad he no longer has to suffer not only the physical agony but also the mental anguish of rejecting this new world.’
    • ‘Rumor infiltrates the camp and Euryalus' mother cries out in anguish at the death of her son.’
    • ‘I had to bite down on my lip and close my eyes for a moment to keep myself from crying out in anguish.’
    • ‘I am appealing to all mums and dads, please sit your children down and explain what distress and anguish they cause with their pranks.’
    agony, pain, torment, torture, suffering, distress, angst, misery, sorrow, grief, heartache, heartbreak, wretchedness, unhappiness, woe, desolation, despair
    the dark night of the soul, purgatory, hell on earth
    dolour
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Be extremely distressed about something.

    ‘he anguished over how to reply’
    • ‘It had been precisely five long years since the day they passed away and as much as it anguished her to do so, Callie couldn't bring herself to not acknowledge that.’
    • ‘How anguishing this book must have been to an individual so committed to protecting patients.’
    • ‘Many of his supporters were anguished by the political cost of their votes of conscience.’
    • ‘What anguished me most was that I had allowed this to happen to me.’
    • ‘He is anguished to see that it is his mother who is moaning.’
    • ‘Christian is anguished when he loses the money and he has to admit that half of the money belongs to Clym.’
    • ‘You smile so that others won't see what's anguishing you.’
    • ‘A firefighter and fire technician with Parks Canada, Taylor uses his unique perspective to capture in anguishing detail the awesome force that is a forest fire.’
    • ‘Kornfeld is also strongly attracted to the idea of a free soul and is anguished by the fact that men are ‘burdened’ by being ‘chained’ to their souls.’
    agonized, tormented, racked with pain, racked with suffering, tortured, harrowed
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin angustia tightness (plural) straits, distress from angustus narrow.

Pronunciation:

anguish

/ˈaNGɡwiSH/