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adjective pan·ic \ˈpa-nik\

Definition of panic

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or resembling the mental or emotional state believed induced by the god Pan <panic fear>

  2. 2 :  of, relating to, or arising from a panic <panic buying>

  3. 3 :  of or relating to the god Pan

Origin of panic

French panique, from Greek panikos, literally, of Pan, from Pan

First Known Use: 1603

Rhymes with panic



noun pan·ic

Simple Definition of panic

  • : a state or feeling of extreme fear that makes someone unable to act or think normally

  • : a situation that causes many people to become afraid and to rush to do something

Full Definition of panic

  1. 1 a :  a sudden overpowering fright; also :  acute extreme anxiety b :  a sudden unreasoning terror often accompanied by mass flight <widespread panic in the streets> c :  a sudden widespread fright concerning financial affairs that results in a depression of values caused by extreme measures for protection of property (as securities)

  2. 2 slang :  one that is very funny

pan·icky play \ˈpa-ni-kē\ adjective

Examples of panic

  1. He was in a panic when he realized how late he was.

  2. There's no reason to get into a panic.

  3. The villagers fled in panic from the approaching army.

  4. The crowd was in a state of panic.

  5. She has panic attacks whenever she has to speak in public.


First Known Use of panic


Synonym Discussion of panic

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage <fear of the unknown>. dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety <faced the meeting with dread>. fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear <fright at being awakened suddenly>. alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger <view the situation with alarm>. panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity <the news caused widespread panic>. terror implies the most extreme degree of fear <immobilized with terror>. trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation <raised the subject with trepidation>.



verb pan·ic

Simple Definition of panic

  • : to be overcome with extreme fear : to be affected by panic

  • : to cause (a person or animal) to feel extreme fear : to cause (a person or animal) to feel panic

Full Definition of panic

pan·icked play \-nikt\ pan·ick·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to affect with panic

  3. 2 :  to cause to laugh uproariously <panic an audience with a gag>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to be affected with panic

Examples of panic

  1. If something goes wrong, don't panic.

  2. The deer, panicked by the headlights, ran in front of the car.


First Known Use of panic


Seen and Heard

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February 5, 2016

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