Definition of anxious
- She was anxious to learn more.
She feels anxious and depressed.
People are anxious about the future.
He was anxious that the weather would not improve in time for the party.
We experienced a few anxious moments as we waited to hear the results of the test.
It was an anxious night as she waited for her children to come home.
He was waiting at the door with an anxious expression on his face.
He was anxious for more news.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anxious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The fact that individual words can have multiple senses that are closely related in meaning is something which many people find objectionable about the English language. Anxious is an example of such a word, as people will use it to mean "worried," "eager (but with an undertone of worry)," and simply "eager."
The word has been used in the sense of "eager" for a considerable length of time, with evidence going back at least to the 17th century.
agog, antsy, ardent, athirst, avid, crazy, desirous, eager, enthused, enthusiastic, excited, great, greedy, gung ho, hot, hungry, impatient, keen, nuts, pumped, raring, solicitous, thirsty, voracious, wild;
champing at the bit, chomping at the bit;
: afraid or nervous especially about what may happen : feeling anxiety
: causing or showing fear or nervousness
: wanting or eager to do or have something very much especially because of fear or nervousness
What made you want to look up anxious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).