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adjective neu·rot·ic \nu̇-ˈrä-tik\

Simple Definition of neurotic

  • medical : having or suggesting neurosis

  • : often or always fearful or worried about something : tending to worry in a way that is not healthy or reasonable

Full Definition of neurotic

  1. :  of, relating to, constituting, or affected with neurosis(see neurosis)

neu·rot·i·cal·ly play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of neurotic

  1. This most fastidious of pianists sounds anything but neurotic when he plays Mozart. —Richard Coles, Times Literary Supplement, 15 Nov. 2002

  2. Maybe it's because novelists don't talk much about each other. Maybe this is because novelists secrete a certain BO which only other novelists detect, like certain buzzards who emit a repellent pheromone detectable only by other buzzards, which is to say that only a novelist can know how neurotic, devious, underhanded a novelist can be. —Walker Percy, “An Interview With Zoltán Abádi-Nagy,” 1987 in Signposts in a Strange Land, 1991

  3. In our own time, the most perfect examples of such biography … are the matchless case-histories of Freud. Freud here shows, with absolute clarity, that the on-going nature of neurotic illness and its treatment cannot be displayed except by biography. —Oliver Sacks, Awakenings. (1973) 1990

  4. The psychiatrist diagnosed the patient as neurotic.

  5. My neurotic mother scolded me for staying out 10 minutes past curfew.

  6. He is neurotic about his job.


First Known Use of neurotic




noun neu·rot·ic \nu̇-ˈrä-tik\

Simple Definition of neurotic

  • medical : a person who has a neurosis

  • : a person who is always fearful or worried about something

Full Definition of neurotic

  1. 1 :  one affected with a neurosis(see neurosis)

  2. 2 :  an emotionally unstable individual

Examples of neurotic

  1. More than any rebirth, one senses in the England of 1911 a civilization's unconscious death wish, vividly present in the author's glimpses of the poet Rupert Brooke, that squeaky-clean neurotic, a casualty waiting to happen. —Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review, 27 May 2007

  2. As a claustrophobe—perhaps the only kind of neurotic out of place in New York—I find nothing in the city more terrifying than a stalled subway car. —John Tierney, New York Times Magazine, 19 Mar. 1995

  3. You are too much something for a tubercular neurotic who can only be jealous and mean and perverse. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter, 2 Dec. 1939

  4. He was diagnosed as a neurotic.

  5. He is a neurotic about keeping his clothes neat.


First Known Use of neurotic


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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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