phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exaggerated fear of acrophobia
2 : intolerance or aversion for photophobia

Examples of phobia in a Sentence

Noun His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Age 12 is going to be separation anxiety, social anxiety, and the specific phobia. Kate Julian, The Atlantic, "The Anxious Child," 14 Apr. 2020 The phobia isn’t recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose patients. BostonGlobe.com, "‘‘The new iPhone is creeping me ... out with the 3 little cameras,’’ one Twitter user wrote.," 13 Sep. 2019 Some might have a phobia about witnessing deceased human beings and view the job as depressing, but Trey considers the profession as an opportunity to be there for families during extremely difficult times. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "'They are astonished': Bengals rookie Trey Dishon doesn't have typical post-football plans," 7 May 2020 This phobia has been a staple of commentary on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus disaster. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vector in Chief," 29 Apr. 2020 The quickest way to get to the bottom of what’s causing your fear of driving would be to discuss it with a licensed mental health professional -- if possible, one who specializes in treating patients with phobias. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Paralyzing fear keeping new driver from trying for a license," 4 Feb. 2020 For some children, a fear of vomiting might spiral into a phobia that could interfere with travel, eating or relationships. Marnie Hanel, New York Times, "How to Manage a Carsick Kid," 17 Apr. 2020 Over the course of her research, Holland grappled with her own fears, interviewed individuals who have a rare disease that prevents them from feeling fear and met with scientists working to cure phobias with a single pill. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Science of Fear, the Royal Scandal That Made France Modern and Other New Books to Read," 17 Apr. 2020 Another angle: President Trump has so far kept his distance from the issue, but public health experts are now concerned that a president who has spoken openly about his phobia of germs might overreact to the coronavirus crisis. Melina Delkic, New York Times, "Your Wednesday Briefing," 11 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phobia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phobia

Noun

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phobia

Noun

-phobia

Noun combining form

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 Slavonic běžati

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Time Traveler for phobia

Time Traveler

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

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Statistics for phobia

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phobia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phobia. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun
How to pronounce -phobia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

English Language Learners Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Kids Definition of phobia

: an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of phobia

: 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

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