For all the words I know, I can't seem to find the right word for this strange emotion. Some words I have tried come up short in one way or another. Confusion lacks the underlying hatred, annoyance ignores the triggering bafflement, skepticism is to forward to properly describe the abhorrent serenity caused by this mixture of emotions.

I tried looking on Google and several other sites for some synonyms for each of them, but my results kept coming up short. Even my 'Better-words-for-authors' guides proved insufficient. I'm starting to think there might not even be a single word in the English lexicon for this emotional mixture that is hatred and anger caused by disbelief.

Example of how it could be used:

He couldn't help but feel [blank], had the youtuber really sunken below rock bottom.

- or -

[blank] began to well up inside of her. The others had resorted to Orwellian new speak to justify their problematic behavior.

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    Does this word suffice the sentiment you are trying to encapsulate - Outrage?
    – cph_sto
    Aug 10, 2023 at 14:50
  • Outrage is a good word, but it's too active for the emotion I'm trying to convey. Aug 10, 2023 at 14:58
  • 1
    Indignance means a righteous anger after someone has been wronged. This word is softer and has a moral tinge to it. Hatred emotion may be missing here though. May be that helps!
    – cph_sto
    Aug 10, 2023 at 15:04
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    Downvoted for the really poor contextual examples given in the question.
    – TimR
    Aug 10, 2023 at 15:18
  • The word might indeed be indignance. So if its posted as a answer, I'll accept it. Aug 10, 2023 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


We often get posts on this forum for "one word" that expresses some complex idea. Like, "What is one word that means a tall, bald man wearing a blue shirt who likes to ride motorcycles?" Okay, I'm being deliberately silly. But the simple answer is, In English, at least, if you want to express a complex idea, you normally need to use multiple words.

I see you've gotten several suggestions but I'd quibble with all of them meaning exactly the combination of three emotions that you ask for.

Like I see someone suggested "indignant". I understand that to include anger. But it's hazy if it would imply hatred, and I don't see it incorporating disbelief at all. Like, I wouldn't consider it at all jarring if someone said, "When Bob called me fat, I was indignant. It's true that I'm fat, but it's very rude to point it out like that with no cause." That is, you can be indignant about something you believe to be 100% true.

You gave several examples yourself that fall into the same category. That is, include one or two of these emotions but not the others. Like "skeptical" indicates a mild form of disbelief -- you're not saying it's false, just that you're not convinced it's true. But one can be skeptical without being angry or hateful at all. If a girl said I was handsome, I know I'm not, so you could say I'd be skeptical, but I probably wouldn't be angry or hateful. (Depending on the circumstances, I might be pleased that she was trying to be nice to me. I might feel sorry for her obviously poor eyesight. I might be suspicious that she was trying to flatter me to get something from me. Etc.)

If you want to say that someone felt a combination of these three emotions, I think you need to just use those three words.

  • 1
    This seems like it belongs in English Language & Usage Meta as something we can link to more generally for single-word-request questions.
    – Barmar
    Aug 10, 2023 at 22:48
  • +1. But what's your quibble with outrage? Seems to me it fires on all three cylinders, disbelief, anger, and hatred. Outrage can lead to action, often rash action, but not always. Why OP rejected it as "too active" is unclear.
    – TimR
    Aug 12, 2023 at 11:11
  • @timr thefreedictionary.com defines "outrage" as "resentful anger aroused by a violent or offensive act". So it clearly involves anger. I don't see that it necessarily involves hatred. I may be "outraged" that my 6 year old broke my laptop, but I wouldn't hate him. And I don't see how it involves disbelief at all. I am outraged at Nazi atrocities and slavery, precisely because I absolutely believe that they really happened.I agree that the statement about it being "too active" is curious and probably not relevant, but I would reject it on other grounds.
    – Jay
    Aug 12, 2023 at 17:33
  • @Jay Dictionary definitions only take you so far. People feel outrage when their country or village is attacked, say; it can begin as disbelief that this is actually happening to them, and that disbelief can become indignation, which can turn into anger and then rage, culminating in a seething hatred for the attackers.
    – TimR
    Aug 12, 2023 at 19:50
  • @timr I agree that dictionary definitions can be incomplete or misleading. As to the rest of your post, I guess we have to ask what the OP meant by "disbelief". When someone says "I don't believe this is happening", they rarely mean that literally. I mean, they don't mean "I think this attack is a hallucination or a trick". They mean that in a very metaphorical sense. They don't really not believe it, they just think it is, well, outrageous. I took the OP to mean "disbelief" literally: "I think this person is lying or mistaken when he says this."
    – Jay
    Aug 13, 2023 at 4:57

The word which encapsulates the sentiment of anger and disbelief could very well be indignant. Here is the dictionary.com reference to it.

The link says:

feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base: indignant remarks; an indignant expression on his face.

An example from the recent news item:

Maggie Haberman Says Trump and Trumpworld Angry and ‘Indignant’ About Explosive New Indictment

  • 1
    I thought you hit the nail on the head with outrage.
    – TimR
    Aug 12, 2023 at 11:16
  • Well, OP told me that indignant suits his requirements more, as can be seen in the comments. He asked me to post indignant as the answer. That’s why I did that.
    – cph_sto
    Aug 12, 2023 at 14:29

How about "dejected"?

Collins gives:

If you are dejected, you feel miserable or unhappy, especially because you have just been disappointed by something.

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