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anxious

[ angk-shuhs, ang- ]
/ ˈæŋk ʃəs, ˈæŋ- /
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See synonyms for: anxious / anxiously / anxiousness on Thesaurus.com

adjective

full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous: Her parents were anxious about her poor health.
earnestly desirous; eager (usually followed by an infinitive or for): anxious to please; anxious for our happiness.
attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness: anxious forebodings.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of anxious

1615–25; <Latin anxius worried, distressed, derivative of angere to strangle, pain, distress; cf. anguish, -ous

historical usage of anxious

The earliest sense of anxious (in the 17th century) was “troubled” or “worried”: We are still anxious for the safety of our dear sons in battle. Its meaning “earnestly desirous, eager” arose in the mid-18th century: We are anxious to see our new grandson. Some insist that anxious must always convey a sense of distress or worry and object to its use in the sense of “eager,” but such use is fully standard.

OTHER WORDS FROM anxious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for anxious

British Dictionary definitions for anxious

anxious
/ (ˈæŋkʃəs, ˈæŋʃəs) /

adjective

worried and tense because of possible misfortune, danger, etc; uneasy
fraught with or causing anxiety; worrying; distressingan anxious time
intensely desirous; eageranxious for promotion

Derived forms of anxious

anxiously, adverbanxiousness, noun

Word Origin for anxious

C17: from Latin anxius; related to Latin angere to torment; see anger, anguish
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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