- 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.
- extreme pain or misery; mental or physical torture; agony
- to afflict or be afflicted with anguish
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.