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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The soldiers who interrogated and beat him were not wrong to be paranoid about locals telling the Ukrainian security services where their positions were. Tim Judah, The New York Review of Books, 28 Apr. 2022 Everyone was paranoid about Russian saboteurs, or paratroopers suddenly appearing overhead. Mac William Bishop, Rolling Stone, 12 Mar. 2022 Tijuana journalists remain paranoid about their digital security, making for arduous safeguarding routines. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Feb. 2022 While his return has shaken employees’ trust in the company, TechCrunch reported that Garg has also been paranoid about the development being leaked to the media. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 31 Jan. 2022 Margot is paranoid about Dylan leaving in the middle of the night, while Alison’s just worried about him. Benjamin Rosenstock, Vulture, 5 Nov. 2021 Those interviewed, including family members, described Ferrill as someone who had grown increasingly paranoid over the past two years, the reports showed. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Apr. 2022 Amundsen was famously aloof, unwilling to show any emotion other than anger, and growing increasingly paranoid with age. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Mar. 2022 In a time of geopolitical chaos and inflation, Simon Mikhailovich’s extreme wealth preservation strategies don’t seem so paranoid. Cyberattacks. William Baldwin, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near paranoid



paranoid schizophrenia

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Paranoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for paranoid


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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