paranoia

noun
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 With widespread paranoia in Wuhan about face-to-face contact, McGory's social life is mostly limited to social media. Author: Cindy Chang, Anchorage Daily News, "Americans in China struggle for seats as plane evacuates hundreds from besieged Wuhan," 29 Jan. 2020 In recent days, abductions and assassinations of high-profile civil activists have stoked paranoia among demonstrators. Washington Post, "Baghdad mob kills teen and strings up his corpse," 16 Dec. 2019 In recent days, abductions and assassinations of high-profile civil activists have stoked paranoia among demonstrators. BostonGlobe.com, "Baghdad mob kills teen gunman and strings up his corpse - The Boston Globe," 13 Dec. 2019 In recent days, abductions and assassinations of high-profile civil activists have stoked paranoia among demonstrators. Samya Kullab And Murtada Faraj, chicagotribune.com, "Baghdad mob strings up corpse of teen gunman who killed six, officials say," 12 Dec. 2019 Yes, its members have injected a peculiar viral paranoia into our politics where everyone who disagrees with old foreign-policy grandees such as Richard Haas is now considered vaguely Ruskie. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Trump’s Impeachment Will Be Trump’s Fault," 23 Oct. 2019 Ranchers took their fears and paranoia to the Texas Rangers. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "‘Porvenir, Texas’ can be your Hispanic Heritage Month must-see," 26 Sep. 2019 To objective analysts, the causes include protesters’ paranoia after days of police infiltration and brutality, and the lack of any further concessions by the government as rewards for pragmatism other than the shelving of the extradition bill. The Economist, "Why Chinese officials imagine America is behind unrest in Hong Kong," 15 Aug. 2019 Along the way, these vloggers are unlocking a new, casual mode of experiencing paranoia. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The ugly side of Facebook’s pivot to privacy is starting to show," 9 July 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paranoia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paranoia. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for paranoia

paranoia

noun
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.

paranoia

noun
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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Comments on paranoia

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