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90s Slang You Should Know


[ang-zahy-i-tee] /æŋˈzaɪ ɪ ti/
noun, plural anxieties.
distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune:
He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
earnest but tense desire; eagerness:
He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
Origin of anxiety
1515-25; < Latin anxietās, equivalent to anxi(us) anxious + -etās, variant of -itās before a vowel
1. fear, foreboding; worry, disquiet.
1. certainty, serenity, tranquillity.
Synonym Study
1. See apprehension. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for anxiety
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the outset I was saved any anxiety by finding the river dirty.

    Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior
  • But at that last remark he could no longer restrain his anxiety.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • anxiety, and not a desire to see life, had drawn him from his shell in Bison.

  • “Her anxiety is purely disinterested,” said Margaret to Philip.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Nor did anxiety over Toms fate interfere with their appetites.

    Four Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for anxiety


noun (pl) -ties
a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry
intense desire; eagerness
(psychol) a state of intense apprehension or worry often accompanied by physical symptoms such as shaking, intense feelings in the gut, etc, common in mental illness or after a very distressing experience See also angst
Word Origin
C16: from Latin anxietas; see anxious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anxiety

1520s, from Latin anxietatem (nominative anxietas) "anguish, anxiety, solicitude," noun of quality from anxius (see anxious). Psychiatric use dates to 1904. Age of Anxiety is from Auden's poem (1947). For "anxiety, distress," Old English had angsumnes, Middle English anxumnesse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anxiety in Medicine

anxiety anx·i·e·ty (āng-zī'ĭ-tē)

  1. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.

  2. A cause of anxiety.

  3. A state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that normal physical and psychological functioning is disrupted.

  4. Eager, often agitated desire.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anxiety in Science
A state of apprehension and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation. ◇ In psychiatry, a patient has an anxiety disorder ◇ if normal psychological functioning is disrupted or if anxiety persists without an identifiable cause.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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anxiety in Culture

anxiety definition

Emotional distress, especially that brought on by fear of failure. (See also angst.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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