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See also: Anguish



  • enPR: ăngʹ-gwĭsh, IPA(key): /ˈæŋ.ɡwɪʃ/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English angwissh, anguishe, angoise, from Anglo-Norman anguise, anguisse, from Old French angoisse, from Latin angustia (narrowness, scarcity, difficulty, distress), from angustus (narrow, difficult), from angere (to press together, cause pain, distress). See angst, the Germanic cognate, and anger.


August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck – Anguish. Oil on canvas around 1877.

anguish (countable and uncountable, plural anguishes)

  1. Extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress.
    Synonyms: agony, calvary, cross, pang, torture, torment; see also Thesaurus:agony
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English angwischen, anguis(s)en, from Old French angoissier, anguissier,[1] from the noun (see Etymology 1).


anguish (third-person singular simple present anguishes, present participle anguishing, simple past and past participle anguished)

  1. (intransitive) To suffer pain.
    • c. 1900s, Kl. Knigge, Iceland Folk Song, traditional, Harmony: H. Ruland
      We’re leaving these shores for our time has come, the days of our youth must now end. The hearts bitter anguish, it burns for the home that we’ll never see again.
  2. (transitive) To cause to suffer pain.


  1. ^ angwisshen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2018, retrieved 21 October 2019.

Further reading[edit]