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 Suffers from depression and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by Dr. Bernard Diamond, a psychiatrist for the defense. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Mark David Chapman Fast Facts," 28 Apr. 2021 During this transfer, German politics retained an old paranoid thinking about the economy. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, "The Weird, Extremely German Origins of the Wirecard Scandal," 21 Apr. 2021 Wiley's decision-making was influenced by what the mayor described as a threatening, paranoid environment created by local businessman Bob Carmack, who had hired a private investigator to follow the mayor. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "State investigation into Detroit mayor's office, deleted emails results in no charges," 21 Apr. 2021 Aldous Huxley's own words ought to pop the paranoid balloon floated by the April 11 literary theorist, who has his story exactly backward. Marcus Harcus And Oliver Steinberg, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: Legalization of marijuana doesn't lead to tyranny," 18 Apr. 2021 The terrible bind that the belligerent and paranoid leaders of the past have placed us in is striking. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Book That Stopped an Outbreak of Nuclear War," 16 Apr. 2021 But we are slowed by some of the same bureaucratic hurdles that the paranoid former regime installed. Jan Egeland, CNN, "Darfur's return to war would spell disaster for Sudan," 14 Apr. 2021 In style and rhetoric, the American Phoenix Project married the mistrust of institutions so common among New Age devotees with a paranoid form of Trumpism gaining purchase across the country. New York Times, "A Teacher Marched to the Capitol. When She Got Home, the Fight Began.," 10 Apr. 2021 Diplomats describe a China that is hubristic and paranoid. Star Tribune, "China is awaiting the downward spiral of the U.S.," 4 Apr. 2021

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paranoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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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