- a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons or animals.
- an instance, outbreak, or period of such fear.
- Finance. a sudden widespread fear concerning financial affairs leading to credit contraction and widespread sale of securities at depressed prices in an effort to acquire cash.
- Slang. someone or something that is considered hilariously funny: The comedian was an absolute panic.
- of the nature of, caused by, or indicating panic: A wave of panic buying shook the stock market.
- (of fear, terror, etc.) suddenly destroying the self-control and impelling to some frantic action.
- (initial capital letter) of or relating to the god Pan.
- to affect with panic; terrify and cause to flee or lose self-control.
- Slang. to keep (an audience or the like) highly amused.
- to be stricken with panic; become frantic with fear: The herd panicked and stampeded.
Origin of panic1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for panicked
Panicked, I reached out to hoarding experts, who often refer to any kind of obsessive digital collecting as “infomania.”I’m a Digital Hoarder
December 17, 2014
At hospitals across the nation, panicked Americans with flu symptoms began convincing themselves they were next.Ebola Panic Is Worse Than the Disease
October 9, 2014
Then he panicked and took her body somewhere and burnt it on fire!Deep Thoughts from War Machine's Sexist, Racist Prison Blog
August 21, 2014
The crowd began to lurch violently, as small motions rippled out into panicked attempts to break away.The War Inside: Terrorism & Teenhood in ‘No Dawn Without Darkness’
August 3, 2014
The signs of the panicked flight almost three weeks ago were apparent everywhere in town.Who Is Behind Gaza's Mass Execution?
August 1, 2014
The warriors in the square—what was left of them—had panicked.Despoilers of the Golden Empire
Gordon Randall Garrett
For a panicked instant he wanted to rip the helmet off his head.The Next Logical Step
Benjamin William Bova
Panicked by the sight of them, he whipped out his pistol and fired.The Sex Life of the Gods
"I'm very glad you panicked, since it sent you straight into our arms," said Norah.Back To Billabong
Mary Grant Bruce
After she had shot her own brother, she might have panicked, but she didn't.The Eyes Have It
Gordon Randall Garrett
- a sudden overwhelming feeling of terror or anxiety, esp one affecting a whole group of people
- (modifier) of or resulting from such terrorpanic measures
- to feel or cause to feel panic
- of or relating to the god Pan
Word Origin and History for panicked
"mass terror," 1708, from earlier adjective (c.1600, modifying fear, terror, etc.), from French panique (15c.), from Greek panikon, literally "pertaining to Pan," the god of woods and fields, who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots.
In the sense of "panic, fright" the Greek word is short for panikon deima "panic fright," from neuter of Panikos "of Pan." Meaning "widespread apprehension about financial matters" is first recorded 1757. Panic button in figurative sense is first recorded 1955, the literal sense apparently is from parachuting. Panic attack attested by 1970.
type of grass, early 15c., from Old French panic "Italian millet," from Latin panicum "panic grass, kind of millet," from panus "ear of millet, a swelling" (cf. panocha).
1827, "to afflict with panic," from panic (n.). Intransitive sense of "to lose one's head, get into a panic" is from 1902. Related: Panicked; panicking.
- A sudden overpowering feeling of terror.