para·​noia | \ ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə How to pronounce paranoia (audio) , ˌpa-rə-\

Definition of paranoia

1 : mental illness characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations Psychotic symptoms and paranoia persisted, and she continued to "find clues" of conspiracy against her.— Helen K. Delichatsios et al.
2 : a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others The members of America's racist right inhabit a murky world of conspiracy, suspicion, and paranoia.— Wayne King

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Other Words from paranoia

paranoiac \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈnȯi-​ˌak How to pronounce paranoiac (audio) , -​ˈnȯi-​ik , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ or less commonly paranoic \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈnȯi(-​i)k How to pronounce paranoic (audio) , -​ˈnō-​ik , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adjective or noun
paranoically \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈnȯi(-​i)-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce paranoically (audio) , -​ˈnō-​i-​k(ə-​)lē , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb

Examples of paranoia in a Sentence

She was diagnosed with delusional paranoia. I had to admit that my fears were just paranoia.
Recent Examples on the Web Learning of her urinary incontinence, followed by fecal incontinence, felt somehow wrong, as did episodes of acute paranoia and violent thrashing. Katie Hafner, Washington Post, "He critiqued a callous health-care system. Then he experienced it firsthand.," 8 Nov. 2019 Where that film was a claustrophobic study in madness, paranoia and corruption, Doctor Sleep is an expansive, sombre, multi-location, multi-character drama, a world away from its progenitor. Joey Nolfi,, "Mixed Doctor Sleep reviews praise The Shining sequel's creepy atmosphere," 30 Oct. 2019 His mother said Martin had been suffering from paranoia and delusions in the month before. oregonlive, "Grand jury finds no criminal wrongdoing by Portland police in fatal shooting of Lane C. Martin, 31, in SE Portland," 14 Oct. 2019 Henry said his father has struggled with bouts of paranoia and hallucinations and sometimes is not coherent in conversation since his fall., "A judge ordered an 83-year-old man held without bail Monday after he was charged with the murder of his 76-year-old roommate at a Haverhill nursing home, where a nurse found him swinging a walker at the head of the victim, authorities said.," 8 Oct. 2019 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Center on Addiction, dabbing can result in symptoms that include rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness and psychotic reactions such as paranoia and hallucinations. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky high school students were hospitalized after vaping from a 'dab pen,' police say," 26 Sep. 2019 Ben talks of struggling with paranoia and fear, demons which have become so insurmountable that maintaining work or starting a family is impossible. J.w., The Economist, "“Here for Life” is a moving film about hardship in London," 25 Sep. 2019 As played by Crowe, Ailes is a charismatic but abrasive personality with a streak of wild paranoia and a penchant for inflammatory remarks. Meredith Blake,, "‘The Loudest Voice’ turns the spotlight on Roger Ailes — the man who made President Trump possible," 26 June 2019 After living with fear and paranoia about her pimp, Lori (Emily Meade) breaks down in tears after Frankie shares the news that CC has died. Lydia Wang,, "This Is Where We Left Off On Season 2 Of The Deuce," 8 Sep. 2019

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

1887, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paranoia

New Latin, from Greek, madness, from paranous demented, from para- + nous mind

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Time Traveler for paranoia

Time Traveler

The first known use of paranoia was in 1887

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Statistics for paranoia

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Paranoia.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for paranoia


How to pronounce paranoia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of paranoia

medical : a serious mental illness that causes you to falsely believe that other people are trying to harm you
: an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc.


para·​noia | \ ˌpar-ə-ˈnȯi-ə How to pronounce paranoia (audio) \

Medical Definition of paranoia

1 : a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations
2 : a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others

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