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 worrier (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

How To Pick One Choosing from among the litany of options available at outdoor retailers looks impossible, but don’t worry. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "How to Set Up Camp," 2 Apr. 2019 Millions of jobs would have to be destroyed en route to this brave new green world, but not to worry. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Vote on the Green New Deal," 11 Feb. 2019 But enrollees needn't worry: If the shots and films Chin creates are any indication, this MasterClass will be just as impressive. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "'Free Solo' Director Jimmy Chin Launches Adventure Photography MasterClass," 5 Dec. 2018 To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump predicts electoral doom for Democrats with ‘abolish ICE’ push: ‘They’re going to get beaten so badly’," 2 Oct. 2018 But there’s also a chance that an asteroid could hit a major city, and Bridenstine thinks that chance is large enough to worry about. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Worries the Earth Could Be Hit by a Big Meteor Every 60 Years," 30 Apr. 2019 Follow this guide, and never worry about old paint again. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Dispose of Paint In a Safe and Responsible Way," 29 Apr. 2019 Levin’s assistant applied a numbing cream to my face and left me to worry. Alice Gregory, Allure, "I Got Fillers for My Chronic Undereye Circles, and the Results Were Impressive," 28 Apr. 2019 And no need to worry about how to listen for this particular release: unlike some of her previous records, this one isn’t only available on Jay-Z’s Tidal. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Beyoncé Dropped a Surprise Live Album With Her Homecoming Documentary," 17 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The worry is that volatility has gotten abnormally low, which could make any future market moves more disruptive. Olga Cotaga, WSJ, "What’s Driving the Unusual Calm in Currency Markets," 17 Mar. 2019 Even though Turkey is a NATO ally, the worry is that sensitive information about America's most advanced fighter could find its way to the Kremlin. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. General: Don’t Sell the F-35 to Turkey If It Buys Russian Missiles," 6 Mar. 2019 If a rogue scientist tinkering quietly in a lab can smash through norms, local laws, and meddle with the human genome to feed his own ego or scientific curiosity, the worry is that many more dangerous applications of CRISPR could be in store. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 22 Jan. 2019 No worries—Chaheati also sells heated seat covers that can be used on any kind of chair from your own living room sofa to your chilly office space. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Buy Heated Folding Chairs," 5 Mar. 2019 Those late-night worries and, occasionally, breakthroughs that are so relatable to the rest of us? refinery29.com, "Why This Beauty Mogul Is Over The "Overnight Success" Label," 18 June 2018 When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. . Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews Fiona Barton's 'The Suspect'," 4 Mar. 2019 Yet for all of these worries, KeyForge clearly succeeds. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "KeyForge: The red-hot card game where every deck is unique—and unchangeable," 15 Dec. 2018 In the 21st century, with computers quickly establishing themselves as a transformative force in our world, younger researchers started expressing similar worries. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity," 21 Dec. 2018

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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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with worry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for worry

Spanish Central: Translation of worry

Nglish: Translation of worry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on worry

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