panic 1 of 2

panic

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verb

Synonym Chooser

How is the word panic distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of panic are alarm, dread, fear, fright, terror, and trepidation. While all these words mean "painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger," panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity.

the news caused widespread panic

In what contexts can alarm take the place of panic?

The words alarm and panic can be used in similar contexts, but alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger.

view the situation with alarm

When could dread be used to replace panic?

Although the words dread and panic have much in common, dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.

faced the meeting with dread

When is it sensible to use fear instead of panic?

While the synonyms fear and panic are close in meaning, fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.

fear of the unknown

When would fright be a good substitute for panic?

The synonyms fright and panic are sometimes interchangeable, but fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear.

fright at being awakened suddenly

When can terror be used instead of panic?

The meanings of terror and panic largely overlap; however, terror implies the most extreme degree of fear.

immobilized with terror

How do trepidation and dread relate to one another, in the sense of panic?

Trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation.

raised the subject with trepidation

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Cite this Entry

“Panic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/panic. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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