paranoia

play
noun para·noia \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə, ˌpa-rə-\

Definition of paranoia

  1. 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. 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

paranoiac

play \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ˌak, -ˈnȯi-ik, ˌpa-rə-\ or less commonly

paranoic

play \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi(-i)k, -ˈnō-ik, ˌpa-rə-\ adjective or noun

paranoically

play \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi(-i)-k(ə-)lē, -ˈnō-i-k(ə-)lē, ˌpa-rə-\ adverb

Examples of paranoia in a sentence

  1. She was diagnosed with delusional paranoia.

  2. I had to admit that my fears were just paranoia.

Origin and Etymology of paranoia

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


First Known Use: 1887


PARANOIA Defined for English Language Learners

paranoia

play
noun para·noia \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə, ˌpa-rə-\

Definition of paranoia for English Language Learners

  • 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.


Medical Dictionary

paranoia

play
noun para·noia \ˌpar-ə-ˈnȯi-ə\

Medical Definition of paranoia

  1. 1:  a psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations

  2. 2:  a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up paranoia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being altered or controlled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!