[ ang-zahy-i-tee ]
See synonyms for anxiety on
noun,plural anx·i·e·ties.
  1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.

  2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness: He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.

  1. Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.

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Origin of anxiety

First recorded in 1515–25; from Latin anxietās, equivalent to anxi(us)anxious + -etās, variant of -itās before a vowel

synonym study For anxiety

1. See apprehension.

Other words for anxiety

Opposites for anxiety

Words Nearby anxiety Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use anxiety in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for anxiety


/ (æŋˈzaɪɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry

  2. intense desire; eagerness

  1. 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

Origin of anxiety

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

Scientific definitions for anxiety


[ ăng-zīĭ-tē ]

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for anxiety


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

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