from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Agonizing physical or mental pain; torment. See Synonyms at regret.
  • transitive v. To cause to feel or suffer anguish.
  • intransitive v. To feel or suffer anguish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress.
  • v. To suffer pain.
  • v. To cause to suffer pain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress.
  • transitive v. To distress with extreme pain or grief.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To distress with excruciating pain or grief.
  • n. Excruciating or agonizing pain of either body or mind; acute suffering or distress.
  • n. An overwhelming emotion.
  • n. Synonyms Agony, Anguish, Pang, etc. See agony and grief.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. suffer great pains or distress
  • n. extreme distress of body or mind
  • v. cause emotional anguish or make miserable
  • n. extreme mental distress


Middle English angwisshe, from Old French anguisse, from Latin angustiae, distress, from angustus, narrow; see angh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English anguishe, angoise, from Anglo-Norman anguise, anguisse, from Old French angoisse, from Latin angustia ("narrowness, difficulty, distress"), from angustus ("narrow, difficult"), from angere ("to press together"). See angst, the Germanic cognate, and anger. (Wiktionary)



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  • In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 1 Samuel 1 : 10

    January 3, 2011

  • A fairly well-known rhyme translated into Anguish:

    Sinker sucker socks pants
    Apocryphal awry
    Foreign turnkey blank boards
    Bagged inner pyre.
    Whinny pious orphaned
    Door boards bay-gander sink.
    Worsen dizzy jelly ditch
    Toe setter furry kink?

    September 16, 2009