para·​noid | \ ˈper-ə-ˌnȯid How to pronounce paranoid (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \
variants: or less commonly paranoidal \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈnȯi-​dᵊl How to pronounce paranoid (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 In the 1990s and early 2000s, the party wasn’t so paranoid about private business. John Pomfret, The Atlantic, "China’s Leader Attacks His Greatest Threat," 25 Jan. 2021 Ray Liotta stars as the real-life wiseguy Henry Hill, a low-level grinder for a New York crime family whose high-spirited, backslapping life of crime descends into a paranoid nightmare of drugs and death. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "The 10 Best Titles Leaving Netflix This Month," 1 Feb. 2021 In 1962, some of America’s most influential conservatives met to talk about a growing threat: the rise of paranoid conspiracy theories on the right. Erick Trickey,, "Long before QAnon, Ronald Reagan and the GOP purged John Birch extremists from the party," 16 Jan. 2021 That film’s protagonist, Travis Bickle, is a paranoid Vietnam veteran whose fantasies of cleansing the streets culminate in a murder spree. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "The Georgia Dad Who Said That He Wanted to Kill Nancy Pelosi," 15 Jan. 2021 In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was incorporated into the paranoid Frankenstein monster known as the Department of Homeland Security. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "How to Fight Climate Change and Fascists at the Same Time," 14 Jan. 2021 Babbitt’s journey - illuminated through her extensive social media activity, court and military records, and interviews with some who knew her - was one of paranoid devotion and enthusiasm that only increased as Trump’s fortunes waned. Anchorage Daily News, "Ashli Babbitt’s journey from capital ‘guardian’ to invader," 11 Jan. 2021 Relentless tabulators often come off as zealous, maybe a little paranoid, and certainly no fun. Gregory Barber, Wired, "How Many Microcovids Would You Spend on a Burrito?," 12 Jan. 2021 Fridrich has said the FBI asked him if Warner was paranoid about 5G technology being used to spy on people. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "FBI confirms Anthony Warner was Nashville bomber," 27 Dec. 2020

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

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paranoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for paranoid



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 paranoid (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

More from Merriam-Webster on paranoid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paranoid

Nglish: Translation of paranoid for Spanish Speakers

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