neurotic

adjective
neu·​rot·​ic | \ nu̇-ˈrä-tik How to pronounce neurotic (audio) , 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 How to pronounce neurotic (audio) , nyu̇- \

Definition of neurotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one affected with a neurosis (see neurosis)
2 : an emotionally unstable individual

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from neurotic

Adjective

neurotically \ nu̇-​ˈrä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce neurotic (audio) , 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective She was occupied in particular with the Zimmern family, an artistic, neurotic clan whose members can be glimpsed — sometimes fleetingly, sometimes head-on — throughout her books. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Alison Lurie, Tart-Voiced Novelist of Manners, Dies at 94," 3 Dec. 2020 Both embody the most extreme criticisms leveled at millennials: entitled, delusional, neurotic narcissists who are happy to take their parent’s money instead of working for their own and are shocked when success doesn’t fall into their laps. Emma Pattee, Marie Claire, "Sorry, But Loving Dave Burd and Hating Hannah Horvath Is Highly Problematic," 10 Nov. 2020 The neurotic people in his experiment showed just a slight rise in skin temperature in response to cool air, compared to a large rise for the confident extroverts in his group. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Why is cold tolerance so unique to each individual?," 11 Oct. 2020 George Gissing’s neurotic solitude, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s passion for women’s rights, Randall Jarrell’s responsiveness to literature, James Baldwin’s psychological acuity—all speak to Gornick’s inner life, and help her to animate theirs. Dayna Tortorici, The New York Review of Books, "The Desk and the Daring," 22 Sep. 2020 The people of his childhood emerge in rich portraits—his jealous and neurotic mother; his lusty, high-spirited, fiercely anti-Semitic father; his feral nanny; his charming governess. Lynn Freed, WSJ, "Five Best: Lynn Freed on Paradises Lost," 11 Sep. 2020 For the second year in a row, these killer lead actresses will face off thanks to their respective performances as the quirky, fashion-loving assassin Villanelle and the neurotic intelligence investigator Eve Polastri. Rebecca Ford, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Co-Stars Are Competitors: Breaking Down This Year's Unprecedented Emmys Race," 6 Aug. 2020 The canon of infinite time loop texts is often about finding serenity in the insanity, their neurotic protagonists learning to surrender to the scenario. Katie Walsh, ExpressNews.com, "Andy Samberg finds romance in Hulu’s ‘Palm Springs’," 8 July 2020 Women become less neurotic and men become more conscientious. Cari Romm, The Cut, "5 Ways Personality Changes in the First Year of Marriage," 25 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Seinfeld, which stars Jerry Seinfeld as a fictionalized version of himself, pokes fun at neurotics like Seinfeld and his friends, who overthink and worry about too many little things. Nina Huang, EW.com, "What to quaran-stream on Hulu if you’re running out of shows to watch," 1 May 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about neurotic

Time Traveler for neurotic

Time Traveler

The first known use of neurotic was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Statistics for neurotic

Last Updated

11 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neurotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neurotic. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for neurotic

neurotic

adjective
How to pronounce neurotic (audio)

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
How to pronounce neurotic (audio)

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 How to pronounce neurotic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce neurotic (audio) \ adverb

neurotic

noun

Medical Definition of neurotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one affected with a neurosis
2 : an emotionally unstable individual

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on neurotic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!