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

Among his eccentricities was a phobia of getting his head wet. Smithsonian, "John Steinbeck’s Epic Ocean Voyage Rewrote the Rules of Ecology," 22 Aug. 2019 Almost one in five people with anxiety disorders misuse alcohol, and those with social phobia report less physical activity. Arman Azad, CNN, "Why people with mental illness may face poorer physical health and early death," 16 July 2019 Today the Republic of California, as a couple of dozen settlers christened it in 1846 during the Mexican-American War, again feels like a breakaway state, with its own mores, laws, phobias, and monumental contradictions. Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, "Michael Greenberg," 17 Jan. 2019 Some people have allergies, some have legitimate phobias, and some hate returning to their desks only to find their computer cords chewed up by a co-worker’s puppy. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The most dog-friendly offices in the US, according to Rover.com," 12 June 2019 To those of us who would like our language to be a bit more concise than a dog’s bark, a phobia is an irrational fear. James Lileks, National Review, "Girth Dearth," 11 July 2019 For some animals, who may have a noise phobia or have exhibited signs of stress with loud sounds in the past, more aggressive calming techniques may be necessary. Tanya Edwards, BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s how to keep your pets from freaking out during summer fireworks," 26 June 2019 Many of the most common phobias, from flying to heights, come out when people travel. Alyson Krueger, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Tackle the Most Common Travel Fears," 6 June 2019 The poor child who picked Scotland out was then accosted by the presiding FIFA officials and ordered to return the ball the cages, no doubt triggering an acute phobia of miniature footballs for the rest of his life. SI.com, "Morrisons, Donald Trump & a Boozy Rod Stewart: 8 of the Strangest Cup Draws of All Time," 21 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near phobia

pho

phob-

-phobe

phobia

-phobia

phobic

-phobic

Statistics for phobia

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phobia

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

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More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on phobia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phobia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for phobia

Spanish Central: Translation of phobia

Nglish: Translation of phobia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of phobia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phobia

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