paranoia

noun
para·noia | \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə, 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, -ˈnȯi-ik, ˌpa-rə- \ or less commonly paranoic \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi(-i)k, -ˈnō-ik, ˌpa-rə- \ adjective or noun
paranoically \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi(-i)-k(ə-)lē, -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

The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. NBC News, "Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 26 June 2018 Like so many women, I was plagued by a vain and longstanding paranoia about what people might think of me. Jessica Berger Gross, Longreads, "Gone Gray," 10 July 2018 Comey erred by bending over backward to placate their paranoia. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Latest and Most Insane New Theory for Shutting Down Mueller Probe," 25 June 2018 West Germany wins on penalties, England’s first World Cup victory never happens, and the country develops a collective paranoia about penalty kicks. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The ‘Hand of God’ Delusion: World Cup History on Further Review," 14 June 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression –common symptoms of dementia. Jonel Aleccia And Melissa Bailey, USA TODAY, "Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 1 July 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. NBC News, "Unlocked And loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 26 June 2018 The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia. Washington Post, "Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns," 25 June 2018 This serious condition, which is temporary and treatable, comes with a number of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusional thoughts, severe mood swings, paranoia, and insomnia. Alexa Tsoulis-reay, The Cut, "I Was Convinced I Might Kill My Child," 31 May 2018

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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Statistics for paranoia

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paranoia

The first known use of paranoia was in 1887

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More Definitions for paranoia

paranoia

noun

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on paranoia

Spanish Central: Translation of paranoia

Nglish: Translation of paranoia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paranoia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about paranoia

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