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Anger vs. Angry: What's the Difference?

By Aimie Carlson & Janet White || Updated on March 4, 2024
Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something, while angry describes the feeling or state of experiencing anger.

Key Differences

Anger is a complex emotional state that involves a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility. It can be triggered by perceived wrongs, injustices, or frustrations. On the other hand, angry is an adjective that describes the manifestation of anger within an individual or the expression of such a state. It characterizes someone who is experiencing the emotion of anger at a particular moment.
The concept of anger encompasses a broader range of experiences, including physiological responses, cognitive judgments, and expressive behaviors. Whereas, describing someone as angry focuses more on the observable emotional state and its immediate implications. It is the outward expression that can be noticed by others.
Anger can be considered both a transient and a prolonged emotional condition, depending on the context and individual differences. It might manifest in various intensities, from mild irritation to intense rage. In contrast, being angry is typically associated with a more immediate, often visible reaction to a specific situation or event.
In psychological terms, anger is analyzed as a primary emotion that can lead to various outcomes, including aggression, passive-aggressiveness, or constructive resolution strategies. On the other hand, being angry is often viewed as a temporary condition that signifies the person's current emotional state, which might influence their behavior or decision-making processes.
The management and expression of anger are subjects of considerable interest in both psychology and social interactions. Effective management strategies are crucial for preventing anger from escalating into harmful expressions. Conversely, feeling angry and how one chooses to express that anger can significantly impact interpersonal relationships and personal well-being.

Comparison Chart


State of being/emotional condition


A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility
Experiencing or showing the emotion of anger


Can be internal or external, varies in form
Typically observable, external manifestation


Can be transient or prolonged
Usually refers to a more immediate, temporary state

Psychological Focus

Analyzed as a primary emotion
Considered a temporary emotional state

Anger and Angry Definitions


A primary emotion characterized by antagonism toward something perceived as wrong.
Her anger at the injustice fueled her activism.


Reflects the intensity of anger at a given moment.
She felt angry but chose to respond calmly.


Influences behavior and decision-making.
Anger often leads to hasty decisions that one might later regret.


Describes someone experiencing the emotion of anger.
She was angry about the unfair treatment she received.


Subject to individual differences in expression and management.
Everyone experiences and expresses anger in their own way.


Can influence immediate behavior.
Angry outbursts are often regretted later.


Can manifest in various forms, including internal feelings or outward expressions.
He struggled to control his anger in stressful situations.


Feeling or showing anger; incensed or enraged
Angry at my boss.
Angry with her.


A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.


Indicative of or resulting from anger
An angry silence.


To make angry; enrage or provoke.


Having a menacing aspect; threatening
Angry clouds on the horizon.


To become angry
She angers too quickly.


Chiefly New England & Midland US Inflamed and painful
An angry sore.


A strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something, usually combined with an urge to harm, often stemming from perceived provocation, hurt, or threat.
You need to control your anger.


Displaying or feeling anger.
His face became angry.
An angry mob started looting the warehouse.


(obsolete) Pain or stinging.


(said about a wound or a rash) inflamed and painful.
The broken glass left two angry cuts across my arm.


(transitive) To cause such a feeling of antagonism in.
He who angers you conquers you.


Dark and stormy, menacing.
Angry clouds raced across the sky.


(intransitive) To become angry.
You anger too easily.


Troublesome; vexatious; rigorous.
God had provided a severe and angry education to chastise the forwardness of a young spirit.


Trouble; vexation; also, physical pain or smart of a sore, etc.
I made the experiment, setting the moxa where . . . the greatest anger and soreness still continued.


Inflamed and painful, as a sore.


A strong passion or emotion of displeasure or antagonism, excited by a real or supposed injury or insult to one's self or others, or by the intent to do such injury.
Anger is likeA full hot horse, who being allowed his way,Self-mettle tires him.


Touched with anger; under the emotion of anger; feeling resentment; enraged; - followed generally by with before a person, and at before a thing.
Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves.
Wherefore should God be angry at thy voice?


To make painful; to cause to smart; to inflame.
He . . . angereth malign ulcers.


Showing anger; proceeding from anger; acting as if moved by anger; wearing the marks of anger; as, angry words or tones; an angry sky; angry waves.


To excite to anger; to enrage; to provoke.
Taxes and impositions . . . which rather angered than grieved the people.


Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave.


A strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance


Sharp; keen; stimulated.
I never ate with angrier appetite.


The state of being angry


Feeling or showing anger;
Angry at the weather
Angry customers
An angry silence
Sending angry letters to the papers


Belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong (personified as one of the deadly sins)


(of the elements) as if showing violent anger;
Angry clouds on the horizon
Furious winds
The raging sea


Make angry;
The news angered him


Severely inflamed and painful;
An angry sore


Become angry;
He angers easily


Visible through facial expressions or actions.
His angry demeanor made others hesitant to approach him.


A universal emotion that crosses cultural boundaries.
Anger is a natural response to threats and can be a call to action.


Temporary and often situation-specific.
He quickly became angry when he couldn't find his keys.


What is anger?

Anger is an emotion characterized by displeasure or hostility toward someone or something perceived as having caused harm.

Can anger be positive?

Yes, anger can be a positive force if it motivates constructive action or leads to problem-solving.

How does one typically express being angry?

Being angry can be expressed through verbal outbursts, facial expressions, and body language.

Is anger always negative?

No, anger is not always negative; it can signal important issues or motivate change.

Is it unhealthy to suppress anger?

Yes, consistently suppressing anger can lead to physical and psychological health issues.

What does it mean to be angry?

Being angry describes the state of experiencing or showing the emotion of anger.

Can animals feel anger?

Yes, many animals display behaviors that suggest they experience emotions similar to human anger.

Can anger affect relationships?

Yes, how anger is expressed can significantly impact interpersonal relationships, either positively or negatively.

What is passive-aggressive behavior?

Passive-aggressive behavior is a way of expressing anger indirectly, through sarcasm or non-cooperation, rather than direct confrontation.

How can I manage my anger?

Anger can be managed through strategies like relaxation techniques, cognitive restructuring, and problem-solving.

What are common triggers of anger?

Common triggers include injustice, frustration, threats, and disrespect.

Can anger be a symptom of a psychological disorder?

Yes, excessive or inappropriate anger can be a symptom of certain psychological disorders.

What role does empathy play in managing anger?

Empathy can help in understanding others' perspectives, thus reducing anger and promoting resolution.

What is the difference between being angry and feeling frustrated?

Feeling frustrated often relates to being upset by obstacles, whereas being angry involves a stronger, more hostile reaction to perceived wrongs.

Is anger a choice?

While the initial feeling of anger may not be a choice, how one responds to and expresses that anger involves personal decisions.

How does culture influence expressions of anger?

Cultural norms and values can greatly influence how anger is expressed and perceived within a community.

Can anger be contagious?

Yes, anger can be contagious, as observing anger in others can trigger similar emotions in oneself.

Are there gender differences in expressing anger?

Research suggests there are societal expectations that influence how men and women express anger differently.

What are some physical signs of being angry?

Physical signs include increased heart rate, tensed muscles, and heightened adrenaline levels.

How does anger affect decision-making?

Anger can lead to impulsive, riskier decisions as it can cloud judgment.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.
Co-written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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