[ klaw-struh-foh-bee-uh ]
/ ˌklɔ strəˈfoʊ bi ə /


an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places.

Nearby words

  1. clausthalite,
  2. claustral,
  3. claustration,
  4. claustrophilia,
  5. claustrophobe,
  6. claustrophobic,
  7. claustrum,
  8. clausula,
  9. clava,
  10. clavacin

Origin of claustrophobia

1875–80; < Latin claustr(um) bolt (see claustrum) + -o- + -phobia

Can be confusedacrophobia agoraphobia claustrophobia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for claustrophobia

British Dictionary definitions for claustrophobia


/ (ˌklɔːstrəˈfəʊbɪə, ˌklɒs-) /


an abnormal fear of being closed in or of being in a confined space
Derived Formsclaustrophobe, noun

Word Origin for claustrophobia

C19: from claustro-, from Latin claustrum cloister + -phobia

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 Origin and History for claustrophobia



"morbid fear of being shut up in a confined space," coined 1879 (in article by Italian-born, French-naturalized Swiss-English physician Dr. Benjamin Ball (1834-1892)) from Latin claustrum "a bolt, a means of closing; a place shut in, confined place, frontier fortress" (in Medieval Latin "cloister"), past participle of claudere "to close" (see close (v.)) + -phobia "fear."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for claustrophobia


[ klô′strə-fōbē-ə ]


An abnormal fear of being in narrow or enclosed spaces.
Related formsclaustro•phobe′ n.claus′tro•phobic adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for claustrophobia


[ (klaw-struh-foh-bee-uh) ]

An abnormal fear of being shut in or enclosed.

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.