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

Her saga shows how this troubled country, more than four years into a confrontation with Moscow, has become a political hall of mirrors, rife with suspicion, paranoia and uncertainty. James Marson, WSJ, "Soldier, Patriot, Hero, Traitor? The Strange Saga of Nadiya Savchenko," 24 Aug. 2018 Getting access to those documents alleviates suspicion and paranoia and tells you the truth. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Judge should order governor to stop using ephemeral messaging app, lawyers say," 1 Feb. 2018 Musk triggered paranoia in major carmakers’ corporate boards. Michael Zelenko, The Verge, "The US is losing the high-stakes global battery war," 13 Aug. 2018 The lawsuit highlights a widespread paranoia over information theft in the fiercely competitive industries of advanced manufacturing and self-driving cars. Drew Harwell, chicagotribune.com, "Tesla sues former employee for hacking company secrets. He says he was a whistleblower.," 21 June 2018 Set in deep space, the TV Nightflyers follows a disparate band of colonists who are fleeing a dying Earth and are driven to paranoia and madness by some mysterious entity. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Before Game of Thrones and Nightflyers, George R.R. Martin’s work inspired a great Outer Limits episode," 30 Nov. 2018 Crawford has a history of paranoia and drug use, records said. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Newly engaged runner stabbed to death in DC to be buried in wedding dress," 25 Sep. 2018 But material on my mother’s paranoia and delusions was not as readily available, and absent from my school health classes in the ’70s and ’80s. Laura Zera, New York Times, "No One Helped My Mentally Ill Mother, or Me," 22 June 2018 Signs of a marijuana overdose could include a rapid heart rate, hallucinations, vomiting, panic attacks and paranoia. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "Oregon mom cited after toddler overdoses on marijuana-infused candy," 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

6 May 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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