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

There’s only one performer who could give life to Forky: Tony Hale, portrayer of two of the most neurotic characters in television comedy history — Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep. Lauren Le Vine, refinery29.com, "Toy Story 4’s Forky Is The Unlikely Hero Of 2019," 20 June 2019 An art restorer, a divorced man, two former lovers, a neurotic woman and a slob struggle with relationships in London. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 One good option is to start a work diary like John Steinbeck, the author of one of the true great American novels and, as his journal reveals, a big-time neurotic. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "If you’ve got a big career goal, you need to start keeping a work diary," 30 July 2019 Rozette Rago for The New York Times After four seasons of his namesake IFC comedy, and copious soul-searching, Marc Maron wasn’t clamoring for another series, let alone a character so neurotic, so angry and compulsive, so exactly like him. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "Marc Maron on ‘GLOW,’ His Podcast and ‘Swords of Trust’," 19 July 2019 The benefits of being neurotic Some of the finding might not be all that surprising. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "What how you spend your money says about who you are," 17 July 2019 The ones who are most helpful to the kids are themselves divorced from society in some way or another: the neurotic Joyce; the brutish, alcohol-dependent Hopper; and the abrasive conspiracy theorist Murray. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "The New Season of “Stranger Things” Shows the Limits of Kids Saving the World," 9 July 2019 The breakout star of Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 is undeniably Forky, the neurotic spork voiced by Tony Hale. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Disney recalls Toy Story 4 Forky plush, citing choking hazard," 8 July 2019 Alas the Trump era may have to end before the U.S. can have a Russia policy that isn’t driven by neurotic domestic partisan obsessions. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Putinism in the Dock for Airliner Shootdown," 21 June 2019

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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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