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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Yet today’s climate of paranoia has much deeper roots. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Democratic Rot and the Origins of American Conspiracism," 3 July 2019 Others have added a healthy dose of paranoia to their daily habits. Katy Steinmetz/ukiah, Time, "California Is Stepping Up Fire Prevention Efforts—But It Hasn't Fixed One of the Biggest Problems," 2 July 2019 After losing his brother in combat, Jacob Singer returns home from Afghanistan—only to be pulled into a mind-twisting state of paranoia. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "First trailer for Jacob’s Ladder reboot looks as spooky as the 1990 original," 2 July 2019 Aldrin’s lawsuit filed earlier this month in a Florida state court, came a week after children Andrew and Janice filed a petition claiming Aldrin suffers from memory loss, delusions, paranoia and confusion. Washington Post, "Buzz Aldrin’s ex-manager says she’s been unfairly defamed," 26 June 2018 But Renita Pritchett and relatives say Ronald Pritchett was and still is suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder which led to confusion and deadly paranoia on the night of the stabbings. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "JPSO deputy, retirement home resident put on 'Boogie Shoes'," 4 May 2018 The theory is supported by Juana's maternal grandmother, Isabella of Portugal, who apparently suffered from her own psychological issues, including paranoia, which could indicate a hereditary factor. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "What Was Catherine of Aragon's Sister, Juana la Loca, Really Like?," 10 June 2019 His latest book, published by Minnesota indie publisher Coffee House Press, is a collection of short stories that deal with art, paranoia and the dark urges that haunt even the most normal people. Michael Schaub, latimes.com, "7 buzzworthy June books to look out for," 10 June 2019 Her father, the Mad King, was largely driven mad by paranoia that his allies and closest advisors were plotting exactly that. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Daenerys Is Definitely Dying in the Game of Thrones Series Finale. Here's How It Could Happen.," 19 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paranoia

Statistics for paranoia

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paranoia

The first known use of paranoia was in 1887

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on paranoia

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!