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

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Other Words from neurotic

Adjective

neurotically \ nu̇-​ˈrä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce neurotically (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Tracee Ellis Ross matches Tyler’s weirdness as the highly neurotic Pearl Edwards, sprinkling comic relief during the song’s love cries. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 20 Best Music Videos of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 20 June 2019 The study also found that conscientious owners rated their dogs as more responsive to training and neurotic owners rated their dogs as more fearful. Linda Lombardi, National Geographic, "Do anxious owners make for anxious dogs?," 1 Mar. 2019 The family takes a vacation to a relative’s farm, where the neurotic city dog Max learns some lessons about tough love and bravery from a gruff cattle dog, Rooster (Harrison Ford). Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ adds babies and toddlers to lovable animal mix," 6 June 2019 But there was also something moving, and unfathomably chic, about Risso’s neurotic, erotic vision. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top Shows of Milan Fashion Week Fall 2019," 25 Feb. 2019 Critics were mixed on the film but lauded Ms. Byrne as the charmingly neurotic protagonist. Richard Turner, WSJ, "Superhero Fatigue? Check Out These Indie Films," 10 May 2018 Children with paracosms, like children with imaginary companions, weren’t neurotic loners either, as popular stereotypes might suggest. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, "Imaginary Worlds of Childhood," 20 Sep. 2018 HSPs have also been characterized as being fearful or neurotic, but, again, not all HSPs possess those qualities (though some do). Alexia Lafata, The Cut, "Everything to Know About the Highly Sensitive Person," 2 May 2018 Reserved: This type of person is stable emotionally without being especially open or neurotic. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: people tend to cluster into four distinct personality “types”," 17 Sep. 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

3 Jul 2019

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 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 neurotically (audio) \ 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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More from Merriam-Webster on neurotic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neurotic

Spanish Central: Translation of neurotic

Nglish: Translation of neurotic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neurotic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on neurotic

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