06 February 2010


Thanks OED:

[a. OFr. anguisse, angoisse (Pr. angoissa, It. angoscia) the painful sensation of choking:{em}L. angustia straitness, tightness, pl. straits, f. angust-us narrow, tight, f. root angu- in ang(u)-{ebreve}re to squeeze, strangle, cogn. w. Gr. {alenisacu}{gamma}{chi}-{epsilon}{iota}{nu}.]

Formerly with pl.

1. Excruciating or oppressive bodily pain or suffering, such as the sufferer writhes under.
c1220 Hali Meid. 35 Hwen hit {th}er to cume{edh} {th}at sar sorhfule angoise. a1300 Pop. Sc. (Wright) 374 The bodi..in strong angusse doth smurte. c1380 Sir Ferumb. 212 Hys wounde..for angwys gan to chyne. 1382 WYCLIF Jer. iv. 31 Anguysshes as of the child berere [1388 angwischis as of a womman childynge; 1611 the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child]. c1386 CHAUCER Pars. T. 139 The peyne of helle..is lik deth, for the horrible anguisshe [v.r. angwissh(e, -uysch, -uyssche, -wysshe]. 1485 CAXTON Chas. Gt. 238, I haue suffred many anguysshes of hungre. 1592 SHAKES. Rom. & Jul. I. ii. 47 One paine is lesned by anothers anguish. 1656 RIDGLEY Pract. Physick 150 If there be pain of the Stomach, anguish, heat. 1758 S. HAYWARD Serm. xvii. 520 His [Job's] body was full of anguish. 1880 CYPLES Hum. Exp. iii. 70 The anguish of corns and toothache.

2. Severe mental suffering, excruciating or oppressive grief or distress.
c1230 Ancr. R. 234 In the muchel anguise aros {th}e muchele mede. 1297 R. GLOUC. 177 In gret anguysse and fere Wepynde byuore {th}e kyng. c1325 E.E. Allit. P. C. 325 When {th}acces of anguych wat{ygh} hid in my sawle. 1382 WYCLIF Prov. xxi. 23 Who kepeth his mouth and his tunge, kepeth his soule fro anguysschis. c1450 Merlin 64 Grete angwysshe that he suffred for the love of Ygerne. 1583 STANYHURST Aeneis II. (Arb.) 46 With choloricque fretting I dumpt, and ranckled in anguish. 1611 BIBLE Job vii. 11, I wil speake in the anguish of my spirit. 1678 JENKINS in Pepys VI. 125 An honest man..full of Anguishes for his King and his Country. 1769 Junius Lett. xxiii. 105 You may see with anguish how much..authority you have lost. 1810 SCOTT Lady of L. II. xxxiv, The deep anguish of despair.