anxious

adjective
anx·​ious | \ ˈaŋ(k)-shəs How to pronounce anxious (audio) \

Definition of anxious

1 : characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency : worried anxious parents
2 : characterized by, resulting from, or causing anxiety : worrying They spent an anxious night.
3 : ardently or earnestly wishing She was anxious to learn more.

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Other Words from anxious

anxiously adverb
anxiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for anxious

eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest. eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint. eager to get started avid adds to eager the implication of insatiability or greed. avid for new thrills keen suggests intensity of interest and quick responsiveness in action. keen on the latest fashions anxious emphasizes fear of frustration or failure or disappointment. anxious not to make a social blunder athirst stresses yearning but not necessarily readiness for action. athirst for adventure

Can anxious Be Used as a Synonym for eager?

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.

Examples of anxious in a Sentence

… to the eye anxious for reform in the city and forgetful of conditions in the countryside … — Joseph A. Amato, Dust, 2000 He was exhausted yet exhilarated, anxious … about getting on the ice with a team that had a chance to win. — Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated, 20 Mar. 2000 The individual states—fearful of losing industry and richer residents to lower-tax rivals and anxious to minimize their burden of needy citizens … Atlantic, May 1997 He was so anxious to get a fly into the water that he had to reproach himself for haste. — John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle, 1957 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The electrifying symbols of a history-making event roused Dallas in the early morning hours Tuesday and dawn broke over a city tense with excitement, praying for guidance and anxious for more and more news about the invasion. Dallas News, "D-Day as Dallas lived it," 6 June 2019 Nancy, Diane, and Paul have never camped in conditions like this and are especially anxious about having to use the latrine in a storm. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019 At the same time, progressives are anxious for the chance to prosecute their case that Democrats don't have to run as centrists to win, even in places like Nebraska, especially in wave election year. NBC News, "Meet the progressive whose surprise win just spoiled establishment Democrats' plans," 16 May 2018 Locals are anxious to see the agency return to reliable service, said Loberg, the Tisbury Board of Selectmen member. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "Mechanical issues cause Steamship Authority to cancel two trips Sunday morning," 8 July 2018 But according to Myers, even his kids are anxious to see their dad back in the movies. Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, "Mike Myers Is Enjoying the 'Happiest Time' of His Life at 55 and Wants to Do Austin Powers 4," 25 May 2018 To keep kissing bugs away from your home, the CDC has a few tips for anxious bug-o-phobes. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Beware of ‘Kissing Bugs’ This Season—They Can Potentially Cause a Deadly Illness," 25 Apr. 2019 Investors remain anxious about the slowing global economy. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "S&P 500 posts biggest quarterly gain in a decade; Lyft soars," 31 Mar. 2019 North Carolina industry leaders remain anxious about whether sweet potatoes and peanuts will suffer greatly as well. Fox News, "Carolinas farms could take billions in losses from Florence," 21 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of anxious

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anxious

Latin anxius; akin to Latin angere to strangle, distress — more at anger

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Statistics for anxious

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anxious

The first known use of anxious was in 1548

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More Definitions for anxious

anxious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of anxious

: 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

anxious

adjective
anx·​ious | \ ˈaŋk-shəs How to pronounce anxious (audio) \

Kids Definition of anxious

1 : afraid or nervous about what may happen The parents were anxious about the child's health.
2 : causing or showing fear or nervousness an anxious moment
3 : wanting very much : eager She is anxious to get home.

Other Words from anxious

anxiously adverb Her parents waited anxiously for her.

anxious

adjective
anx·​ious | \ ˈaŋ(k)-shəs How to pronounce anxious (audio) \

Medical Definition of anxious

1 : characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency anxious students
2 : characterized by, resulting from, or causing anxiety an anxious time in the hospital waiting room

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More from Merriam-Webster on anxious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anxious

Spanish Central: Translation of anxious

Nglish: Translation of anxious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anxious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on anxious

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