para·​noid | \ ˈper-ə-ˌnȯid How to pronounce paranoid (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \
variants: or less commonly paranoidal \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈnȯi-​dᵊl How to pronounce paranoidal (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \

Definition of paranoid

1 : characterized by or resembling paranoia or paranoid schizophrenia a paranoid psychiatric patient
2 : characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania behaving in a paranoid manner with accusations of persecutions
3 : extremely fearful was so paranoid that he was afraid to walk the streets

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Other Words from paranoid

paranoid noun

Examples of paranoid in a Sentence

I guess I was just being paranoid. She's a little paranoid about her job. It's nothing more than a paranoid fantasy.
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Recent Examples on the Web Literally the same people who said the accusation that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Embassy was absurd and paranoid. TheWeek, "Saudis get dragged for requesting an investigation of 'absurd' claims crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos' phone," 22 Jan. 2020 Even worse, Freeman contended, Gregg had paranoid fear of jail cells and went crazy, climbing the bars and screaming before Duane made him shut up. Christopher Harress |,, "The Alabama police officer who arrested the Allman Brothers nearly 50 years ago has died," 4 July 2019 Maher seems to be trolling his most paranoid viewers, baselessly trying to instill fear that the threat from Trump could continue beyond his term, that Trump would defy the U.S. system for the transfer of power. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Liberal media scream: Manic Maher says Trump won’t leave if defeated," 20 Jan. 2020 Or so we've been told approximately 300 times, until Armageddon was narrowly avoided thanks to a rogue scientist/unlikely hero/band of rebels dreamed up by the incredibly paranoid/relentlessly hopeful people who make movies. Refinery29 Editors,, "The Apocalypse Movies That Actually Terrify Us," 20 June 2019 That prospect may sound faintly paranoid, but employers are increasingly watching workers, with more tools than ever at their disposal. Lena Solow, The New Republic, "The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs," 2 Sep. 2019 Neighbors have been complaining to police about paranoid, confrontational behavior for more than a year. Frank Shyong,, "Police know the mentally ill need more than handcuffs. Their response is shifting," 10 June 2019 Soon, the vacation becomes a nightmare when Adelaide becomes increasingly paranoid that something will happen to her family. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Academy Reveals Oscars Shortlist — And Some Of Your Faves Made The Cut!," 17 Dec. 2019 By then, his girlfriend had moved out, as Martin had become paranoid of her, extremely erratic and was suffering from delusions, said his mother, Cristi Martin. oregonlive, "Grand jury transcript released in Portland police fatal shooting of 31-year-old Lane Christopher Martin," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paranoid.' 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 paranoid

1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for paranoid

Time Traveler

The first known use of paranoid was in 1901

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Statistics for paranoid

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Paranoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for paranoid


How to pronounce paranoid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of paranoid

medical : of, relating to, or suffering from a mental illness that causes you to falsely believe that people are trying to harm you
: having or showing an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc. : feeling or showing paranoia


para·​noid | \ ˈper-ə-ˌnȯid How to pronounce paranoid (audio) \

Kids Definition of paranoid

: having unreasonable feelings of suspicion, distrust, and persecution


para·​noid | \ ˈpar-ə-ˌnȯid How to pronounce paranoid (audio) \
variants: also paranoidal \ ˌpar-​ə-​ˈnȯid-​ᵊl How to pronounce paranoidal (audio) \

Medical Definition of paranoid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : characterized by or resembling paranoia or paranoid schizophrenia
2 : characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania



Medical Definition of paranoid (Entry 2 of 2)

: one affected with paranoia or paranoid schizophrenia

called also paranoiac

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More from Merriam-Webster on paranoid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paranoid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paranoid

Spanish Central: Translation of paranoid

Nglish: Translation of paranoid for Spanish Speakers

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