worry

verb
wor·​ry | \ ˈwər-ē How to pronounce worry (audio) , ˈwə-rē \
worried; worrying

Definition of worry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 dialectal British : choke, strangle
2a : to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat
b : to shake or pull at with the teeth a terrier worrying a rat
c : to touch or disturb something repeatedly
d : to change the position of or adjust by repeated pushing or hauling
3a : to assail with rough or aggressive attack or treatment : torment
b : to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort
4 : to afflict with mental distress or agitation : make anxious

intransitive verb

1 dialectal British : strangle, choke
2 : to move, proceed, or progress by unceasing or difficult effort : struggle
3 : to feel or experience concern or anxiety : fret worrying about his health

worry

noun
plural worries

Definition of worry (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated : anxiety
b : an instance or occurrence of such distress or agitation
2 : a cause of worry : trouble, difficulty

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Other Words from worry

Verb

worrier \ ˈwər-​ē-​ər How to pronounce worry (audio) , ˈwə-​rē-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for worry

Verb

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation. pursued a policy of worrying the enemy annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks. you're doing that just to annoy me harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power. harassed on all sides by creditors harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment. the strikers had been harried by thugs plague implies a painful and persistent affliction. plagued all her life by poverty pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks. constantly pestered with trivial complaints tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath. children teased the dog

Noun

care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this. care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension. a face worn by years of care concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection. crimes caused concern in the neighborhood solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another. acted with typical maternal solicitude anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure. plagued by anxiety and self-doubt worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety. financial worries

Examples of worry in a Sentence

Verb We didn't want you to worry. Don't worry. You'll be fine. Don't make your parents worry. When they didn't call after two hours, we began to worry. They were fine. We needn't have worried. His poor health worries me. It doesn't seem to worry him that rain is in the forecast. We didn't tell you about the accident because we didn't want to worry you. Noun She finally ended months of worry over her credit card debt when she finished paying off her bill. His high blood pressure is cause for worry. Our greatest worry is that she'll get lost. His only worry right now is getting to the airport on time. His mother's health is a constant worry.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Back in 1996, Republicans wanting to run for president did not worry about whether ex-President George H.W. Bush, defeated in 1992, would come out of retirement. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "The 2024 Republican presidential primary comes to Trump's doorstep this weekend in Florida," 10 Apr. 2021 With the latest Bluetooth 5.0 transmission, don’t worry about interruptions in use. Maren Estrada, BGR, "You won’t believe these 5 headphones on Amazon cost $28 or less," 9 Apr. 2021 Belle and Jonas called it quits in 2009 — and Swift and Jonas are all good now, don't worry! Andrea Wurzburger, PEOPLE.com, "Celebrity Couples Who Met Filming Music Videos," 9 Apr. 2021 In other words, don't worry about out-of-control prices just yet. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "All that stimulus is sending inflation higher," 9 Apr. 2021 Not worry right now about getting the Republicans on board. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 4-4-21: Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré (Ret.), Sen. Roy Blunt, Sec. Pete Buttigieg," 4 Apr. 2021 And its one-party state need not worry about voter discontent. NBC News, "Russia and China are beating the U.S. at vaccine diplomacy, experts say," 2 Apr. 2021 Christine Friberg, Roseville nonprofit president Not worry about the safety of friends, family and the community. Star Tribune Staff, Star Tribune, "What are you going to do when the pandemic is over? These Minnesotans know," 30 Mar. 2021 If your pen cap fell off in your purse, don't worry. Lauren Smith Mcdonough, Good Housekeeping, "How to Easily Remove Pen Ink From Clothes," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The general worry gets applied to particular directors — nearly all of which, in this book as in the industry, are men. Washington Post, "‘A Light in the Dark’ is a love letter to the directors, personal flaws and all," 12 Apr. 2021 Miller sought refuge from the toll of constant worry at free writing workshops provided by DSTL Arts, an arts nonprofit for underserved parts of Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times, "5 poets address complications of calling L.A. home. How will a reopening city treat them?," 11 Apr. 2021 The latter strain, B.1.351, has caused particular worry among epidemiologists because certain COVID-19 vaccines — particularly the AstraZeneca vaccine — initially seemed to be less effective against it. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskans letting down their guard, not COVID-19 variants, likely responsible for rising case counts," 10 Apr. 2021 Additionally, the implementation of automation can cause worry for those whose jobs may be replaced by new technologies. Kison Patel, Forbes, "The Future Of M&A And Automation," 9 Apr. 2021 Many of them have become proficient at hiding their symptoms, which can include irrational fears, an overly self-conscious presentation, fear of humiliation or embarrassment, and excessive worry around social interactions. John Duffy, CNN, "These people thrived in pandemic isolation -- and aren't ready to return to 'normal' socializing," 9 Apr. 2021 The Biden administration is putting the forearm-brace/shoulder-stock distinction at the top of its worry list even so. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Baby Steps toward a Workable Middle Ground on Guns," 8 Apr. 2021 For many of Asian descent, there is good reason for love to look like worry, especially now. New York Times, "Keeping Love Close," 8 Apr. 2021 The worry about Taiwan comes as China wields new strength from years of military buildup. Robert Burns, ajc, "US military cites rising risk of Chinese move against Taiwan," 7 Apr. 2021

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1804, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for worry

Verb

Middle English worien, from Old English wyrgan; akin to Old High German wurgen to strangle, Lithuanian veržti to constrict

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Time Traveler for worry

Time Traveler

The first known use of worry was before the 12th century

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Statistics for worry

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Worry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for worry

worry

verb

English Language Learners Definition of worry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen
: to make (someone) anxious or upset : to cause (someone) to worry

worry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of worry (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of concern about something bad that might happen : the state or condition of worrying about something
: a problem or concern : something that causes you to be worried

worry

verb
wor·​ry | \ ˈwər-ē How to pronounce worry (audio) \
worried; worrying

Kids Definition of worry

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to feel or express great concern I worry about Grandma's health.
2 : to make anxious or upset The child's illness worried his parents.
3 : to shake and tear with the teeth The puppy was worrying an old shoe.

Other Words from worry

worrier \ -​ē-​ər \ noun

worry

noun
plural worries

Kids Definition of worry (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : concern about something that might happen : anxiety There was no playfulness … just a sense … of worry.— Lois Lowry, Number the Stars
2 : a cause of great concern Her poor grades are a worry to her parents.

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More from Merriam-Webster on worry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worry

Nglish: Translation of worry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worry for Arabic Speakers

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