neurotic

adjective
neu·rot·ic | \ nu̇-ˈrä-tik , nyu̇- \

Definition of neurotic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, constituting, or affected with neurosis (see neurosis)

neurotic

noun
neu·rot·ic | \ nu̇-ˈrä-tik , nyu̇- \

Definition of neurotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one affected with a neurosis (see neurosis)

2 : an emotionally unstable individual

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Other words from neurotic

Adjective

neurotically \nu̇-ˈrä-ti-k(ə-)lē, nyu̇- \ adverb

Examples of neurotic in a Sentence

Adjective

This most fastidious of pianists sounds anything but neurotic when he plays Mozart. —Richard Coles, Times Literary Supplement, 15 Nov. 2002 Maybe it's because novelists don't talk much about each other. Maybe this is because novelists secrete a certain BO which only other novelists detect, like certain buzzards who emit a repellent pheromone detectable only by other buzzards, which is to say that only a novelist can know how neurotic, devious, underhanded a novelist can be. —Walker Percy, "An Interview With Zoltán Abádi-Nagy," 1987, in Signposts in a Strange Land1991 In our own time, the most perfect examples of such biography … are the matchless case-histories of Freud. Freud here shows, with absolute clarity, that the on-going nature of neurotic illness and its treatment cannot be displayed except by biography. —Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, (1973) 1990 The psychiatrist diagnosed the patient as neurotic. My neurotic mother scolded me for staying out 10 minutes past curfew. He is neurotic about his job.

Noun

More than any rebirth, one senses in the England of 1911 a civilization's unconscious death wish, vividly present in the author's glimpses of the poet Rupert Brooke, that squeaky-clean neurotic, a casualty waiting to happen. —Thomas Mallon, New York Times Book Review, 27 May 2007 As a claustrophobe—perhaps the only kind of neurotic out of place in New York—I find nothing in the city more terrifying than a stalled subway car. —John Tierney, New York Times Magazine, 19 Mar. 1995 You are too much something for a tubercular neurotic who can only be jealous and mean and perverse. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter, 2 Dec. 1939 He was diagnosed as a neurotic. He is a neurotic about keeping his clothes neat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Dodging an enemy that is everywhere and unseen can make people neurotic. David Segal, New York Times, "The Most Dreaded Opponent at the Olympics: The Common Cold," 11 Feb. 2018 The potential series revolves around a suburban neurotic man in his late 20s who has convinced himself that he's destined to be one of the best rappers of all time. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Rapper Lil Dicky to Star in FX Comedy From 'The League' Creator, Kevin Hart," 31 May 2018 Farmiga, a formidable actress, spins her wheels as the neurotic and harried Laura and contrasts sharply with the easy cool of Plummer as Jack. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Road movie ‘Boundaries’ travels well-worn path," 6 July 2018 But the real therapy doesn’t kick in until the patient, a divorced, garden-variety neurotic named Laura (played with an appealing mix of spunk and brokenness by Vera Farmiga), embarks on that staple of Hollywood renewal: the road trip. Michael O’sullivan, kansascity, "‘Boundaries’: Pot-dealing Christopher Plummer plus adorable dogs equals fun road movie," 5 July 2018 In an increasingly neurotic world, thank God for dads. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "For Father's Day, all we want is a good old game of catch," 15 June 2018 The work is also one of the first to identify the specific cell types and genetic pathways tied to intelligence and mental health, potentially paving the way for new ways to improve education, or therapies to treat neurotic behavior. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Chocolate money, the rise of multicellularity, and pet rabbit brains," 29 June 2018 But the real therapy doesn't kick in until the patient, a divorced, garden-variety neurotic named Laura (played with an appealing mix of spunk and brokenness by Vera Farmiga ), embarks on that staple of Hollywood renewal: the road trip. Michael O'sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "'Boundaries' review: A family road trip to reconciliation and maybe, understanding," 28 June 2018 Springer delivers insightful lyrics that are both witty and neurotic, with a hint of a sneer that nicely counteracts her warm earnest demeanor. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Chicago trio Retirement Party blend emo and pop-punk to score their early adulthood," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Learn about the connection between neurotics and Brexit. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "The Psychology of Politics," 15 June 2018 But economy-class neurotics will have to make do while their shrink answers emails or knits cardigans during their sessions. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Pay Up if You Want to Eat Premium Bananas," 11 May 2018

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

Adjective

1866, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neurotic

Adjective

neur(osis) + -otic entry 1

Noun

derivative of neurotic entry 1

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Statistics for neurotic

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neurotic

The first known use of neurotic was in 1866

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More Definitions for neurotic

neurotic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of neurotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

medical : having or suggesting neurosis

: often or always fearful or worried about something : tending to worry in a way that is not healthy or reasonable

neurotic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of neurotic (Entry 2 of 2)

medical : a person who has a neurosis

: a person who is always fearful or worried about something

neurotic

adjective
neu·rot·ic | \ n(y)u̇-ˈrät-ik \

Medical Definition of neurotic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or involving the nerves a neurotic disorder

b : being a neurosis : nervous a neurotic disease

2 : affected with, relating to, or characterized by neurosis a neurotic person

Other words from neurotic

neurotically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

neurotic

noun

Medical Definition of neurotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one affected with a neurosis

2 : an emotionally unstable individual

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Comments on neurotic

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