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angst

[ahngkst, angst]
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noun
  1. a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.
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Origin of angst

1840–50; < German Angst fear, anxiety, Old High German angust (cognate with Middle Low German angest, Middle Dutch anxt), equivalent to ang- (akin to eng narrow, constricted) + -st abstract nominal suffix, perhaps a conglomerate of a suffix *-os- + *-ti- suffix forming abstracts
Related formsangst·y, adjective, angst·i·er, angst·i·est.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for angst

angst

noun
  1. an acute but nonspecific sense of anxiety or remorse
  2. (in Existentialist philosophy) the dread caused by man's awareness that his future is not determined but must be freely chosen
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Word Origin

German
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for angst

n.

1944, from German Angst "neurotic fear, anxiety, guilt, remorse," from Old High German angust, from the root of anger. George Eliot used it (in German) in 1849, and it was popularized in English by translation of Freud's work, but as a foreign word until 1940s. Old English had a cognate word, angsumnes "anxiety," but it died out.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

angst in Culture

angst

[(ahngkst)]

A kind of fear or anxiety; Angst is German for “fear.” It is usually applied to a deep and essentially philosophical anxiety about the world in general or personal freedom. (See existentialism.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.