anxiety

noun
anx·​i·​ety | \ aŋ-ˈzī-ə-tē How to pronounce anxiety (audio) \
plural anxieties

Definition of anxiety

1a(1) : apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill : a state of being anxious More Buddhist uprisings in South Vietnam in the spring of 1966 intensified my anxiety.— Robert S. McNamara I felt my anxiety rise as we pressed deeper underground.— Jon Krakauer
(2) medical : an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it
b : mentally distressing concern or interest Yet the pace of a child's progress can also be a source of anxiety for mothers and fathers.— Susan Ochshorn
c : a strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt, fear, or uneasiness … his anxiety to succeed and his continued nervousness over the possible bankruptcy of his shoe company caused her to lecture him about relaxing and caring for his health.— William Drake … present a gamble that consumers, in their anxiety to make an affordable deal, do not always appreciate.— Stephen Koepp
2 : a cause of anxiety … citizens stressed by gnawing economic and social anxieties.— Michael Pertschuk

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Choose the Right Synonym for anxiety

care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this. care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension. a face worn by years of care concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection. crimes caused concern in the neighborhood solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another. acted with typical maternal solicitude anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure. plagued by anxiety and self-doubt worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety. financial worries

Examples of anxiety in a Sentence

feelings of anger and anxiety She suffers from chronic anxiety. He's been feeling a lot of anxiety about his new job.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The change may be met with trepidation, excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn Sullivan: Mental illness: Breaking the silence and making a plan," 9 June 2019 In the world of the film, as in real life, everyone is bound by a common anxiety, and the movie gently suggests that many middle-class San Franciscans can see aspects of their own displacement panic in the black experience of Jimmie Fails. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and the Fear of Being Erased," 7 June 2019 There’s no proof that ASMR is an antidote for anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or insomnia, as some users claim. Karen Pallarito, Health.com, "How Does ASMR Work? The Science Behind Those Brain-Tingling Sounds," 6 June 2019 Health issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and long-term physical challenges are far from uncommon in survivors and can cause irreparable damage, both mentally and physically. Natasha Bhuyan, SELF, "If I Don’t Talk to My Patients About Consent, Who Will?," 5 June 2019 Lipton, who is homeless, is seeking economic and compensatory damages for his mental pain, humiliation, anxiety, loss of liberty and individual dignity. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Coast Guard vet who gives the bird to Buena Vista cops and townspeople has been arrested multiple times for it. Now, he’s suing the city.," 4 June 2019 Experts say long exposure to bright LED lighting, social anxiety, limited physical activity and hygiene are also issues affecting the gaming community. Peter Holley, courant.com, "Carpal tunnel, back pain and social anxiety: Inside the injury-plagued world of professional gaming," 3 June 2019 According to the study, those exposed to flowers had lower blood pressure and heart rate, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms than the patients without foliage. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Research Says Having Fresh Flowers in Your Home Can Actually Reduce Levels of Pain," 17 May 2019 The popularity of marijuana’s non-psychoactive agent CBD has infused therapeutic and cosmetic markets and has also been approved as a treatment for pain relief, anxiety, and childhood epilepsy. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Use Yeast to Produce Cannabinoids Affordably and Efficiently," 1 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anxiety.' 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 anxiety

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for anxiety

Latin anxietas, from anxius

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Statistics for anxiety

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for anxiety

The first known use of anxiety was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for anxiety

anxiety

noun

English Language Learners Definition of anxiety

: fear or nervousness about what might happen
: a feeling of wanting to do something very much

anxiety

noun
anx·​i·​ety | \ aŋ-ˈzī-ə-tē How to pronounce anxiety (audio) \
plural anxieties

Kids Definition of anxiety

: fear or nervousness about what might happen Tests cause many people anxiety.

anxiety

noun
anx·​i·​ety | \ aŋ-ˈzī-ət-ē How to pronounce anxiety (audio) \
plural anxieties

Medical Definition of anxiety

1a(1) : apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill : a state of being anxious
(2) : an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it
b : mentally distressing concern or interest Yet the pace of a child's progress can also be a source of anxiety for mothers and fathers.— Susan Ochshorn, Parenting, February 1995
2 : a cause of anxiety … the younger children, faced with a new school, harder subjects and the myriad anxieties that thread childhood and adolescence …— Charisse Jones, The New York Times, 13 Sept. 1994

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