neurosis

noun neu·ro·sis \ nu̇-ˈrō-səs , nyu̇- \
|Updated on: 14 Jul 2018

Definition of neurosis

plural neuroses play \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

  1. LBJ by legend watched the evening news about Vietnam simultaneously on three TVs, a ticket to a neurosis and night sweats. —Daniel HenningerWall Street Journal2 Dec. 2005
  2. He's self-conscious about few things, period, and so utterly lacking in neurosis that it's unnerving, frankly. —Ned ZemanVanity FairFebruary 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 SchamaThe Embarrassment of Riches1988

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.

Origin and Etymology of neurosis

borrowed from New Latin neurōsis "any of various conditions (as coma or paralysis) involving impairment of the sensory and motor systems without local disease or fever," from Greek neûron "sinew, tendon, nerve" + New Latin -ōsis -osis — more at 1nerve
Note: The Latin term neurosis was introduced in the sense given in the etymology ("sensus et motus laesi, sine pyrexia et sine morbo locali") by the Scottish physician William Cullen (1710-90) in Synopsis nosologiæ methodicæ (Edinburgh, 1769), p. 274. Cullen later used the word in English: "In this place I propose to comprehend, under the title of Neuroses, all those preternatural affections of sense or motion, which are without pyrexia as part of the primary disease; and all those which do not depend upon a topical affection of the organs, but upon a more general affection of the nervous system, and of those powers on which sense and motion more especially depend." (First Lines of the Practice of Physic, for the Use of the Students in the University of Edinburgh, vol. 3 [Edinburgh, 1783], p. 2).


NEUROSIS Defined for English Language Learners

neurosis

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

noun neu·ro·sis \ n(y)u̇-ˈrō-səs \

medical Definition of neurosis

plural neuroses play \-ˌsēz\
: 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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