What is the Difference Between Anger and Rage

The main difference between anger and rage is that the anger is an emotion while rage is the violent, uncontrollable anger, often accompanied by violent physical actions.

Anger and rage are inter-related. Anger is a human feeling or an emotion that occurs as a result of being annoyed or irritated towards something. Thus, there may be varied reasons that cause anger. Rage is the extreme or violent form of anger, which is followed by hostile behaviour.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Anger 
     – Definition, Nature
2. What is Rage
     – Definition, Nature
3. What is the Relationship Between Anger and Rage
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Anger and Rage
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Anger, Emotions, Expression, Rage, Psychology

Difference Between Anger and Rage - Comparison Summary

What is Anger

Anger is a human emotion that occurs as a result of being offended or wronged by some external force. According to psychology, anger is primarily an emotion “characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong”. Hence, it is an emotional reaction that is common to all living beings.

Anger is a natural emotion that all living beings experience in different situations due to varied reasons. However, the primary reason behind anger is the antagonistic reaction to something which is done wrong to you. Thus, it is typically triggered by an emotional hurt. Hence, anger happens as a reaction to criticism, threat, or frustration. Moreover, it is described as a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened as well.

Nature of Anger

According to psychology, anger can be constructive or destructive. In other words, psychology identifies anger as having both negative and positive results. Enabling us to protect ourselves from vicious attacks and motivating us to find solutions to problems are some positive outcomes of anger. Anger is a signal to you that something in your environment isn’t right. As a result, it captures your attention and motivates you to take action to correct that wrong thing.

Nevertheless, persistent anger has negative consequences such as stress, excessive increase in blood pressure, etc. that deteriorate one’s good mental and physical well-being. In situations where you cannot control your anger and situations where your anger has elevated to an extreme level, the consequences of you taking physical action has destructive effects. Therefore, managing and controlling one’s anger is an essential thing for a healthy life.

Difference Between Anger and Rage

The manifestation of anger also varies from person to person. However, anger is manifested both in verbal as well as non-verbal ways. Rage is the extreme level of anger. Thus, there is a distinct difference between anger and rage. When anger turns into rage, it can impair judgment and thinking, making people more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things.

What is Rage

Rage is the violent physical manifestation or the expression of extreme anger. Therefore, rage is necessarily characterized by violent and hostile behaviour, which is very destructive. Thus, the emotion of anger, when turned to the level of uncontrollable violent extreme emotion, converts into a hostile action, which can be defined as rage.

There are several reasons why anger can turn into rage, and these reasons again vary from person to person. Nevertheless, some common reasons are as follows:

  • Anger being repressed for a long time and it has turned into hatred
  • When it is persistent with the persistent causes of anger (for example being a victim of domestic violence)
  • When the person doesn’t know how to control or manage his/her anger

By observing one’s rage, it is possible to have an idea about the level of anger in that person. Rage often clouds one’s rational thinking or normal state of mind. Moreover, sometimes rage can also lead to a state of mind where one starts believing that they are capable of doing things that are normally physically impossible for a human. This happens as a result of high adrenaline production in rage.

Main Difference - Anger vs  Rage

As a consequence, this high adrenaline output raises the physical strength and endurance levels of the person and sharpens their senses while dulling the sensation of pain. Hence, making them feel they are capable of things that normally they cannot. Nevertheless, rage is a negative occurrence. Therefore, one should take precautions to control their anger in order to avoid it aggravating to a level of rage.

Relationship Between Anger and Rage

  • Rage is the ultimate physical expression or the manifestation of extreme anger of a person.
  • Thus, rage is the uncontrollable or the violent state of anger. Therefore, it manifests violent behaviour.

Difference Between Anger and Rage


Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong whereas rage is the ultimate manifestation of extreme anger. Thus, this constitutes the basic difference between anger and rage.


Another difference between anger and rage is that anger is a negative emotion while rage is the uncontrollable or the violent phase of extreme anger.


Anger has several levels, which can be repressed and not manifested to the outside. On the other hand, rage is the ultimate manifestation of extreme anger that has welled up inside a person for a long time. Therefore, this is a major difference between anger and rage.


Anger can last longer since it can be kept hidden while rage is when anger is not well controlled and turned violent, resulting in hostile behaviour.


Anger is a human emotion, which shows the person’s reaction when he/she is wronged by something or someone. This emotion can have levels based upon its intensity and time period. Rage is the ultimate physical expression or the manifestation of extreme anger through action. This is the difference between anger and rage. Therefore, by observing one’s rage, we can measure the level of anger in that person. Thus, these two are inter-related.


1. Mills, Harry. “What Is Anger?” Mental Help Early Childhood Cognitive Development Language Development Comments, Available here.
2. Nordqvist, Christian. “Anger: Causes, Health, Anger Management.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 4 Oct. 2016, Available here.
3. American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, Available here.
4. Mathews, Andrea. “Is Rage a Choice?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 23 May 2012, Available here.
“Rage (Emotion).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Sept. 2018, Available here.

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1. “1384125” (CC0) via Pxhere
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About the Author: Upen

Upen, BA (Honours) in Languages and Linguistics, has academic experiences and knowledge on international relations and politics. Her academic interests are English language, European and Oriental Languages, Internal Affairs and International Politics, and Psychology.

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