bel·​o·​ne·​pho·​bia ˌbe-lə-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce belonephobia (audio)
variants or less commonly belonophobia
: abnormal fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as hypodermic needles or scissors) : aichmophobia
Do you break out in a cold sweat when it's time for a vaccine? … If so, you might have belonephobia, the fear of needles …Catharine Clapp
belonephobe noun
or less commonly belonophobe
plural belonephobes also belonophobes
belonephobic adjective
or less commonly belonophobic
Seth had been belonephobic. He abhorred sharp objects, especially needles. Terri Reed

Word History


Greek belónē "needle" (from bel-, base of uncertain meaning and origin + -onē, suffix of instruments—as in akónē "whetstone," perónē "pin, tongue of a buckle") + -phobia

Note: Greek belónē has conventionally been seen as a derivative from the base of bállein "to throw, strike by throwing" as bélos "missile, dart, arrow" (with b- for expected d- presumably by analogy) and bólos "throw, cast, net" (see devil entry 1). But linguists since August Fick in the 19th century have rejected this connection on semantic grounds: needles are not thrown or launched. Alternatively, belónē has been connected with Greek déllithes "wasps, stinging insects" (a word known only from the lexicographer Hesychius) and further with Lithuanian gélti "to sting, prick, ache" (and a host of other less certain comparable items—see quell entry 1), though this would require a dialectal, presumably Aeolic origin for the initial b- in belónē.

First Known Use

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of belonephobia was circa 1909

Dictionary Entries Near belonephobia

Cite this Entry

“Belonephobia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


bel·​o·​ne·​pho·​bia ˌbe-lə-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce belonephobia (audio)
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