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

There is now a sense of paranoia about what might be in store. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "After three weeks of lockdown, this is what Kashmir looks like," 22 Aug. 2019 O'Rourke also criticized Texas leaders for pushing legislation that stoked fear and paranoia about immigrants, as well as those that support Trump's call for a border wall. Dallas News, "Beto O'Rourke on El Paso shooting: 'It just crushed me'," 5 Aug. 2019 The appearance of police disguised as protesters has triggered further outrage and paranoia among some of the protesters. Ivan Watson, CNN, "Hong Kong's police describe their side of the protests," 15 Aug. 2019 Because what begins with indulging paranoia, ends with tragedy. al, "Seeking refuge from ‘the Alien’ invasion," 6 Aug. 2019 Those involved with the site, most notably Jim Watkins, have taken on an air of extreme paranoia. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "The Weird, Dark History of 8chan," 6 Aug. 2019 Even had we not been stoned on LSD, this kind of talk, under the psychological conditions prevailing in Southern California that night, would have induced paranoia in the rest of us. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Manson Girl Who Got Away," 29 July 2019 The policy, approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was rooted in the ugly idea that gay men and lesbians could be easily blackmailed and turned into communist spies — paranoia in full effect. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "10 new TV shows to watch this summer, not one of them about a throne," 13 June 2019 In a Tarantinian twist, McQueen reportedly carried a gun to their funerals out of paranoia, according to the Manson exposé Chaos. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Your guide to all the real people in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," 30 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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Statistics for paranoia

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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 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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