neurosis

play
noun neu·ro·sis \nu̇-ˈrō-səs, nyu̇-\

Definition of neurosis

plural

neuroses

play \nu̇-ˈrō-ˌsēz, nyu̇-\
  1. :  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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

New Latin


NEUROSIS Defined for English Language Learners

neurosis

play
noun

Definition of neurosis for English Language Learners

  • medical : an emotional illness in which a person experiences strong feelings of fear or worry


Medical Dictionary

neurosis

play
noun neu·ro·sis \n(y)u̇-ˈrō-səs\

Medical Definition of neurosis

plural

neuroses

\-ˌsēz\play
  1. :  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)



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up neurosis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an incorrigible rascal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!