para·noid | \ ˈper-ə-ˌnȯid , ˌpa-rə- \
variants: or less commonly paranoidal \ˌper-ə-ˈnȯi-dᵊl, 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

Chang portrayed Mao as a ruthless leader, paranoid and inured to the use of violence in pursuit of his goals. Alex W. Palmer, New York Times, "The Case of Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers," 3 Apr. 2018 For the ultra-paranoid, Oasis plans to integrate its software with an open source security chip in development by Berkeley and MIT, similar to the chip that underpins the iPhone’s security, to protect crucial smart contracts against meddling. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy," 11 July 2018 The siblings were close and spoke frequently, but in their last conversation, Tiana thought her older brother sounded paranoid. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "EXCLUSIVE: CDC researcher had personal struggles before suicide," 4 June 2018 The answer is too obvious for the paranoid to credit. John Mccain, WSJ, "John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man’," 10 May 2018 But what about when the paranoid are improbably voted in? Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "Trump's Tweets on Spying, Tirade Against Immigrants From ‘Shithole Countries’ Reveal His Paranoid Mind," 13 Jan. 2018 After a succession of high-profile security breaches that make everyone’s data vulnerable to hackers, taking bigger steps to protect your privacy is no longer reserved for the paranoid. Hartford Courant,, "CNET: Best Laptops For Maintaining Your Privacy," 5 July 2018 Shriver, who has a survivalist background, had been hiding from search parties and was paranoid somebody was looking for her, the sheriff’s office said in a tweet. Ryan Gillespie,, "Missing Deltona woman found in Tiger Bay State Forest, deputies say," 26 June 2018 When officers met him in front of the police station, McNeil acted agitated and paranoid and made irrational statements, police said. David Hernandez,, "Residents angry over death of man arrested by police call for full staffing of review board," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for paranoid

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paranoid

The first known use of paranoid was in 1901

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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 \

Kids Definition of paranoid

: having unreasonable feelings of suspicion, distrust, and persecution


para·noid | \ ˈpar-ə-ˌnȯid \
variants: also paranoidal \ˌpar-ə-ˈnȯid-ᵊl \

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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Comments on paranoid

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