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

Albania’s Stalinist dictator of the time, Enver Hoxha, was a deeply paranoid man who had 170,000 bunkers built across the tiny Mediterranean country, as well as up to 7,000 larger underground facilities. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Albania’s Underground Air Force Doesn’t Look So Good," 1 Apr. 2019 The family became tighter, and understandably paranoid. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "They lost their parents in a murder-suicide. Now the Durrett Foundation is stepping up," 26 June 2018 Kim, paranoid about threats to his safety, is said to have demanded significant security on his longest trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011. David Nakamura, Washington Post, "In Singapore, a long wait, and then a car carrying a dictator," 10 June 2018 Running a criminal enterprise of this scale made El Chapo aggressively paranoid. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Help! My Boss Is El Chapo," 12 Jan. 2019 The Times has responded by suggesting that the Clintons are paranoid or trying to quash legitimate news to protect their image. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Why the Clintons and The New York Times Can’t Get Along," 25 Apr. 2018 After the Great Inflation of the 1970s, priorities flipped and from Paul Volcker forward, Fed chairs have acted more paranoid about inflation than about unemployment. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Why politicians should promise every American a job," 27 Apr. 2018 In a sign LaHood might be paranoid about the looming primary, the district attorney has hired a new political consultant: Colin Strother, a local Democratic operative with a reputation as a bomb-thrower. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Soros backs Gonzales in DA primary," 29 Jan. 2018 By the tale’s end, Nixon is ruthless and paranoid, an alcoholic shell of a man fighting fruitlessly to retain his illusions about himself. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 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

21 May 2019

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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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paranoid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paranoid

Spanish Central: Translation of paranoid

Nglish: Translation of paranoid for Spanish Speakers

Comments on paranoid

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