phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exaggerated fear of acrophobia
2 : intolerance or aversion for photophobia

Examples of phobia in a Sentence

Noun His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Specifically, teens exposed to higher light levels were more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or a specific phobia, the study found. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Light pollution ruins teen sleep and may contribute to mental disorders, study says," 8 July 2020 Canonical Truther strains will compete with more acceptable, centrist Sino-phobia after China succeeds in developing the best second and third waves of medicines. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "Benjamin Bratton says we stay hyperaware of contagion post-Covid," 30 June 2020 The tweet that reveals a phobia few people know about. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Why People Are More Honest When Writing on Their Smartphones," 15 June 2020 No one, these writers have taught me, is more attuned to the flinch of a squeamish citizen, no one knows better the phobia that passes as everyday fastidiousness, than the person who has lived on the street. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Homeless in a City Buffeted by Plague," 10 June 2020 Age 12 is going to be separation anxiety, social anxiety, and the specific phobia. Kate Julian, The Atlantic, "The Anxious Child," 14 Apr. 2020 The phobia isn’t recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose patients. BostonGlobe.com, "‘‘The new iPhone is creeping me ... out with the 3 little cameras,’’ one Twitter user wrote.," 13 Sep. 2019 Some might have a phobia about witnessing deceased human beings and view the job as depressing, but Trey considers the profession as an opportunity to be there for families during extremely difficult times. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "'They are astonished': Bengals rookie Trey Dishon doesn't have typical post-football plans," 7 May 2020 This phobia has been a staple of commentary on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus disaster. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vector in Chief," 29 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phobia.' 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 phobia

Noun

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phobia

Noun

-phobia

Noun combining form

New Latin, from Late Latin, from Greek, from -phobos fearing, from phobos fear, flight, from phebesthai to flee; akin to Lithuanian bėgti to flee, Old Church Slavonic běžati

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Time Traveler for phobia

Time Traveler

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

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Statistics for phobia

Last Updated

16 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phobia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phobia. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun
How to pronounce -phobia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

English Language Learners Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Kids Definition of phobia

: an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of phobia

: an exaggerated and often disabling fear usually inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usually an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation — compare compulsion, obsession

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