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

paranoia

play
noun para·noia \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə, ˌpa-rə-\

Simple Definition of paranoia

  • medical : a serious mental illness that causes you to falsely believe that other people are trying to harm you

  • : an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of paranoia

  1. 1 :  a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations

  2. 2 :  a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

paranoiac play \-ˈnȯi-ˌak, -ˈnȯi-ik\ also paranoic play \-ˈnȯi(-i)k, -ˈnō-ik\ adjective or noun
paranoically play \-ˈnȯi(-i)-k(ə-)lē, -ˈnō-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of paranoia in a sentence

  1. She was diagnosed with delusional paranoia.

  2. I had to admit that my fears were just paranoia.



Origin of paranoia

New Latin, from Greek, madness, from paranous demented, from para- + nous mind


First Known Use: circa 1811


Medical Dictionary

paranoia

play
noun para·noia \ˌpar-ə-ˈnȯi-ə\

Medical Definition of paranoia

  1. 1:  a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations

  2. 2:  a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily angry maudlin
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