c. 1200, "acute bodily or mental suffering," from Old French anguisse, angoisse "choking sensation, distress, anxiety, rage" (12c.), from Latin angustia (plural angustiae) "tightness, straitness, narrowness;" figuratively "distress, difficulty," from ang(u)ere "to throttle, torment" (from PIE root *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful").
mid-14c., angwisshen, intransitive and reflexive ("be troubled or distressed; feel agony") and transitive ("cause grief, distress,or torment"); from Old French angoissier (12c., Modern French angoisser), from angoisse "distress, anxiety, rage" (see anguish (n.)). Related: Anguished; anguishing.
updated on May 25, 2017