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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

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.

PronunciationEdit

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

NounEdit

anguish (countable and uncountable, plural anguishes)

  1. Extreme pain, either of body or mind; excruciating distress.
    • 1549, Hugh Latimer, "The Third Sermon Preached before King Edward VI:
      So, ye miserable people; you must go to God in anguishes, and make your prayer to him.
    • 1595/96, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Act V, sc. 1:
      Is there no play,
      To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
    • 1596, Edmund Spencer, Fairie Queene, Book I, LIII:
      Love of your selfe, she saide, and deare constraint,
      Lets me not sleepe, but wast the wearie night
      In secret anguish and unpittied plaint,
      Whiles you in carelesse sleepe are drowned quight.
    • 1611, King James Version, Exodus 6:9:
      But they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.
    • 1700, John Dryden, Fables, Ancient and Modern, "Cinyras and Myrrha":
      There, loathing Life, and yet of Death afraid,
      In Anguish of her Spirit, thus she pray'd.
    • 1708, John Philips, Cyder, A Poem in Two Books, Book I:
      May I the sacred pleasures know
      Of strictest amity, nor ever want
      A friend with whom I mutually may share
      Gladness and anguish ...
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 18:
      She took his trembling hand, and kissed it, and put it round her neck: she called him her John—her dear John—her old man—her kind old man; she poured out a hundred words of incoherent love and tenderness; her faithful voice and simple caresses wrought this sad heart up to an inexpressible delight and anguish, and cheered and solaced his over-burdened soul.
    • 1889, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles:
      A terrible scream—a prolonged yell of horror and anguish—burst out of the silence of the moor. That frightful cry turned the blood to ice in my veins.
    • 1892, Walt Whitman, The Leaves of Grass, "Old War-Dreams":
      In midnight sleep of many a face of anguish,
      Of the look at first of the mortally wounded, (of that indescribable
      look,)
      Of the dead on their backs with arms extended wide,
      I dream, I dream, I dream.

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

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

  1. (intransitive) To suffer pain.
    • (Can we date this quote?) 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.

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit