Definition of neurosis
neurosesplay \nu̇-ˈrō-ˌsēz, nyu̇-\
: a mental and emotional disorder that affects only part of the personality, is accompanied by a less distorted perception of reality than in a psychosis, does not result in disturbance of the use of language, and is accompanied by various physical, physiological, and mental disturbances (such as visceral symptoms, anxieties, or phobias)
Examples of neurosis in a Sentence
LBJ by legend watched the evening news about Vietnam simultaneously on three TVs, a ticket to a neurosis and night sweats. —Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, 2 Dec. 2005
He's self-conscious about few things, period, and so utterly lacking in neurosis that it's unnerving, frankly. —Ned Zeman, Vanity Fair, February 2001
None of this official intervention did much to calm the fretfulness about maidservants, for the anxiety about their being both unreliable yet indispensable marked the birth of an authentically bourgeois neurosis. —Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, 1988
Recent Examples of neurosis from the Web
To ask questions is to be human; to obsess over the answers may be part of the neurosis that drives writers to their desks day after day.
When perhaps the real neurosis is our desire for monuments of any kind.
Ms. Chast, as anyone familiar with her work in The New Yorker can attest, has a talent for identifying our collective neuroses, both large and small, and rendering them if not harmless, at least manageable.
The co-mingling of flesh and metal agitates an underlying contemporary neurosis: Where does the body stop and the machine take over?
But what really disturbs me is that, according to people who have seen the show, Sorkin uses these tragic events to take one of his singular neuroses out for a walk.
Each time, the same thought crosses her mind: In her hands, this is more of a geographical map, an intimate and chaotic path through the jungle of her culinary neuroses, than a restaurant menu.
My assortment of neuroses may be idiosyncratic, but my general condition is hardly unique.
Part of the problem was that response to placebo was considered a psychological trait related to neurosis and gullibility rather than a physiological phenomenon that could be scrutinized in the lab and manipulated for therapeutic benefit.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neurosis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
A neurosis is a somewhat mild mental disorder; unexplained anxiety attacks, unreasonable fears, depression, and physical symptoms that are mentally caused are all examples of neurotic conditions. A superstitious person who compulsively knocks on wood or avoids anything with the number 13 might be suffering from a harmless neurosis. But a severe neurosis such as agoraphobia can be very harmful, making a person a prisoner of his or her home. Neurosis is based on the Greek word for "nerve", since until quite recently neurotic behavior was often blamed on the nerves. Neurosis is usually contrasted with psychosis, which includes a considerably more serious group of conditions.
Origin and Etymology of neurosis
First Known Use: circa 1784See Words from the same year
NEUROSIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of neurosis for English Language Learners
medical : an emotional illness in which a person experiences strong feelings of fear or worry
Medical Definition of neurosis
: a mental and emotional disorder that affects only part of the personality, is accompanied by a less distorted perception of reality than in a psychosis, does not result in disturbance of the use of language, and is accompanied by various physical, physiological, and mental disturbances (as visceral symptoms, anxieties, or phobias)
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