- a combining form meaning “fear,” occurring in loanwords from Greek (hydrophobia); on this model, used in the names of mental disorders that have the general sense “dread of, aversion toward” that specified by the initial element: agoraphobia.
Origin of -phobia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- indicating an extreme abnormal fear of or aversion toacrophobia; claustrophobia
Word Origin for -phobia
via Latin from Greek, from phobos fear
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
word-forming element meaning "excessive or irrational fear of," from Latin -phobia and directly from Greek -phobia "panic fear of," from phobos "fear" (see phobia). In widespread popular use with native words from c.1800. Related: -phobic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An intense, abnormal, or illogical fear of a specified thing:claustrophobia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.