[ noo-roh-sis, nyoo- ]
See synonyms for: neurosisneuroses on

noun,plural neu·ro·ses [noo-roh-seez, nyoo-]. /nʊˈroʊ siz, nyʊ-/. Psychiatry.
  1. Also called psychoneurosis. a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality.

  2. a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of neurosis

From New Latin, dating back to 1770–80; see origin at neur-, -osis

Words Nearby neurosis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use neurosis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for neurosis


/ (njʊˈrəʊsɪs) /

nounplural -ses (-siːz)
  1. a relatively mild mental disorder, characterized by symptoms such as hysteria, anxiety, depression, or obsessive behaviour: Also called: psychoneurosis

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 neurosis


[ nu-rōsĭs ]

  1. A psychological state characterized by excessive anxiety or insecurity without evidence of neurologic or other organic disease, sometimes accompanied by defensive or immature behaviors. This term is no longer used in psychiatric diagnosis.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for neurosis


[ (noo-roh-sis, nyoo-roh-sis) ]

A mental disorder marked by anxiety or fear. Neurosis is less severe than psychosis. (See also angst, hysteria, and phobia.)

Notes for neurosis

In popular usage, a “neurotic” is anyone who worries a lot.

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.