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
With numbers filled with Yiddish and touching on neuroses, gender neutrality and boundary issues, the cast made quite a case for Transparent making the next step onto the stage.
Loyalty Day seemed to symbolize the defining neurosis of Trump’s presidency: his maniacal need for loyalty above all else.
Weren’t the Woody Allen ’70s the height of neurosis, with their five-days-a-week analysis sessions and encounter groups?
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.
As Hawks’s heroes endure debilitating physical and moral wounds and display their neuroses along with their firearms, the jovial grandeur of the original gives way to antic irony.
That, maybe, would confirm his own feelings of irrelevance, his obvious neuroses, even if his test is a completely unfair one.
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.
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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