claus·​tro·​pho·​bic | \ ˌklȯ-strə-ˈfō-bik How to pronounce claustrophobic (audio) \

Definition of claustrophobic

1 : affected with or inclined to claustrophobia
2 : inducing or suggesting claustrophobia

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Other Words from claustrophobic

claustrophobically \ ˌklȯ-​strə-​ˈfō-​bi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce claustrophobic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of claustrophobic in a Sentence

The theater can be a little claustrophobic when it's full. She doesn't go in elevators because she is claustrophobic.
Recent Examples on the Web After the siege, congressional aides have reported trouble sleeping and feeling anxious, claustrophobic, angry and depressed. Luke Broadwater, New York Times, "For Black Aides on Capitol Hill, Jan. 6 Brought Particular Trauma," 17 Feb. 2021 Somehow, the mid-morning night sky was no longer fascinating but claustrophobic. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska can taunt you with darkness and bad weather — but for so many of us, we can’t quit it," 16 Jan. 2021 The combination of a cataclysmic pandemic and nail-biting election reduced many Americans to part-time shut-ins and full-time nervous wrecks: tense, anxious, germophobic, claustrophobic, agoraphobic, pretty much everything-phobic. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "TV viewers are craving comfort food. 2021 will deliver," 16 Dec. 2020 Written from the claustrophobic quarters of a prison cell, the note turns a cliché of leisure into an act of fugitive self-possession. Leslie Jamison, The Atlantic, "The Breathtaking Ingenuity of Incarcerated Artists," 7 Feb. 2021 New York roommate stories often begin with a kind of claustrophobic, reluctant symbiosis: Two people, linked solely by necessity, now also have to share the same bathroom. Bridget Read, Curbed, "The Nightmare Share," 2 Feb. 2021 There’s the nauseating sense that Howland is veering ever closer to a real, claustrophobic horror—one that even now lunges toward her, out of the past—but, thank God, the doors are sliding shut. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "What a Lost Psych-Ward Memoir Teaches Us About Madness," 5 Jan. 2021 That said, the series remains fairly claustrophobic, and mostly uneventful, despite the occasional foray outside their protective bubble into the desert environs (wearing spacesuits, of course). Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Moonbase 8' is a pretty weightless Showtime comedy," 6 Nov. 2020 Sunshine feels a little less claustrophobic, too, in a screen-filling 16:9 aspect ratio. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Super Mario 3D All-Stars review: A bare-bones nostalgia warp zone," 16 Sep. 2020

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

circa 1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for claustrophobic

Time Traveler

The first known use of claustrophobic was circa 1889

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Statistics for claustrophobic

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Claustrophobic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for claustrophobic



English Language Learners Definition of claustrophobic

of a room, space, etc. : not having enough space for people to feel comfortable : causing claustrophobia
: having a fear of being in closed or small spaces : having claustrophobia
: not having or providing enough freedom


claus·​tro·​pho·​bic | \ ˌklȯ-strə-ˈfō-bik How to pronounce claustrophobic (audio) \

Medical Definition of claustrophobic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : suffering from or inclined to claustrophobia
2 : inducing or suggesting claustrophobia

Other Words from claustrophobic

claustrophobically \ -​bi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce claustrophobic (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of claustrophobic (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on claustrophobic

Nglish: Translation of claustrophobic for Spanish Speakers

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