I'm writing a novel and the line I would like the synonym for would be:

My heart stopped and for a moment I was in BLANK-on the precipice of vomiting, soiling myself, and passing out all at the same time."

I believe the word I'm looking for is an exact antonym of euphoria. I don't believe "dysphoria" would work in this case, as I believe that word has strong connotative ties with mental health and its respective disorders.

As of right now, I'll probably use the word 'misery' as a placeholder; however, I am not happy with this word right now and would prefer a stronger word.

Other suggest synonyms through Merriam Webster including despair and depression but those aren't necessarily fitting for the physical context within my example sentence

  • Googling "antonym of euphoria" gave me this entry in the online Merriam Webster online dictionary. From that list I suggest "despair"
    – BoldBen
    May 3, 2019 at 7:34
  • @BoldBen Your comment gave me some inspiration on how I could improve this question. I made edits to both the initial question and to the body. Thank you! May 3, 2019 at 7:46
  • It needs to be noted that there is no such thing as an "exact antonym".
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 2, 2019 at 14:09
  • It's not clear if the word is closer to things involving sudden fears (dread/fear/panic/fright/apprehension), or sudden sadness (sorrow/dismay/grief/woe/despondency/depression/hopelessness), or more general sudden negative reactions (shock/surprise). Regardless, this seems a case where it could be solved with a thesaurus if only the OP knew what they actually wanted it to mean.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 25 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


'Misery', 'despair', 'depression' all work fine as antonyms to the mental state of bliss, which you've confused with euphoria. The actual meaning of euphoria—which is about a feeling of well-being in an otherwise or normally sick person or unjustified/mistaken cheerfulness—should take antonyms like 'relapse', 'pessimism', and of course 'dysphoria'. W/r/t your actual sentence, though

...on the precipice of vomiting, soiling myself, and passing out all at the same time.

none of those are remotely apropos. You're talking about a state of physical dis-ease and something closer to


Of a person: affected with [a feeling of sickness with an inclination to vomit]; having an unsettled stomach; (figurative) disgusted, affected with distaste or loathing.

or any of the myriad synonyms for apprehensive (e.g., overwhelmed, tremulous, panic-stricken).

  • Note that 'nauseated' works too but 'nauseous is much more common nowadays.
    – Mitch
    May 3, 2019 at 11:21
  • I don't think the OP has "confused" euphoria with bliss. The definitions in dictionaries have "bliss" and "euphoria" with strikingly similar meanings, with of course no two dictionary definitions having exactly the same meaning just by virtue of using different words in the definition.
    – Zebrafish
    Jun 2, 2019 at 14:04

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