Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

phobia

play
noun pho·bia \ˈfō-bē-ə\

Simple Definition of phobia

  • : an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of phobia

  1. :  an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Examples of phobia in a sentence

  1. His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.



Origin of phobia

-phobia


First Known Use: 1786

Rhymes with phobia


-phobia

noun combining form pho·bia

Simple Definition of -phobia

  • : an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of -phobia

  1. 1 :  exaggerated fear of <acrophobia>

  2. 2 :  intolerance or aversion for <photophobia>

Origin of -phobia

New Latin, from Late Latin, from Greek, from -phobos fearing, from phobos fear, flight, from phebesthai to flee; akin to Lithuanian bėgti to flee, Old Church Slavic běžati


PHOBIA Defined for Kids

phobia

play
noun pho·bia \ˈfō-bē-ə\

Definition of phobia for Students

  1. :  an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something




Medical Dictionary

phobia

play
noun pho·bia \ˈfō-bē-ə\

Medical Definition of phobia

  1. :  an exaggerated and often disabling fear usually inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usually an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation—compare compulsion, obsession





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up phobia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove soothe reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ