Anger, ire, rage, fury, indignation and wrath all denote emotional excitement induced by intense displeasure.
Anger, the generic term of this group, names merely the emotional reaction; the word in itself suggests no definite degree of intensity and carries no necessary implication of outward manifestation.
- tried to conceal his anger
- easily aroused to anger
- self-destroying anger
- he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot
Ire is literary and suggests greater intensity than anger unqualified and usually a display of that feeling in looks, acts, or words.
- Belinda burns with more than mortal ire
- “Then, my lad, ye’ve come to tell me a lie!” Farmer Blaize looked straight at the boy, undismayed by the dark flush of ire he had kindled
Rage adds to anger the implications of lost self-control and of violent boiling over of feeling; it often connotes variously a sense of frustration, a temporary derangement of the mind, or a determination to get revenge.
- terrible and impotent rage
- his first hot anger against the beast had changed into a cold rage: at all costs now he must get it
Fury is overmastering destructive rage verging on madness.
- what fury drove us into saying the stupid, intolerant, denunciatory things we said?
—L. P. Smith
- the war against physical evil, like every other war, must not be conducted with such fury as to render men incapable of the arts of peace
Indignation implies depth and intensity of anger, often righteous or generous anger, aroused by something one considers mean, shameful, or otherwise unworthy of a man or men.
- whose souls no honest indignation ever urged to elevated daring
- the question now placed before society . . . is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those newfangled theories
Wrath may imply either rage or indignation as its emotional basis, but more strongly than either of these it suggests existence of a grievance and a desire or intent to avenge or punish or to get revenge.
- the wrath of God
- let not the sun go down upon your wrath
- nursing her wrath to keep it warm