feeling, showing, or accompanied by anguish.
resulting from or produced by anguish.

Origin of anguished

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at anguish, -ed3
Related formsnon·an·guished, adjectiveun·an·guished, adjective




excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain: the anguish of grief.

verb (used with object)

to inflict with distress, suffering, or pain.

verb (used without object)

to suffer, feel, or exhibit anguish: to anguish over the loss of a loved one.

Origin of anguish

1175–1225; Middle English anguisse < Old French < Latin angustia tight place, equivalent to angust(us) narrow + -ia -ia; cf. anxious; akin to anger

Synonyms for anguish

Synonym study

1. See pain.

Antonyms for anguish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anguished

Contemporary Examples of anguished

Historical Examples of anguished

  • He looked kind of mottled and anguished, but I guess he'll pull around all right.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She lifted her anguished eyes and looked into his beautiful face.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • Often they may live peaceably, anguished with doubt, and distressed for humanity.

  • In the end, shocks like these gradually roused him from his anguished abstraction.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • She crouched on her cot of spruce boughs in anguished misery.

British Dictionary definitions for anguished



feeling or expressing anguish



extreme pain or misery; mental or physical torture; agony


to afflict or be afflicted with anguish

Word Origin for anguish

C13: from Old French angoisse a strangling, from Latin angustia narrowness, from angustus narrow
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 anguished



c.1200, "acute bodily or mental suffering," from Old French anguisse, angoisse "choking sensation, distress, anxiety, rage," from Latin angustia (plural angustiae) "tightness, straitness, narrowness;" figuratively "distress, difficulty," from ang(u)ere "to throttle, torment" (see anger (v.)).



early 14c., intransitive and reflexive; mid-14c., transitive, from Old French anguissier (Modern French angoisser), from anguisse (see anguish (n.)). Related: Anguished; anguishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper