paranoia

noun para·noia \ ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-ə , ˌpa-rə- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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

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.

Recent Examples of paranoia from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of paranoia

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


PARANOIA Defined for English Language Learners

paranoia

noun

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

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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