phobia

[ foh-bee-uh ]
/ ˈfoʊ bi ə /

noun

a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

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Origin of phobia

First recorded in 1780–90; extracted from nouns ending in -phobia

Definition for phobia (2 of 2)

-phobia

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

< Latin < Greek, equivalent to -phob(os) -phobe + -ia -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for phobia

British Dictionary definitions for phobia (1 of 2)

phobia
/ (ˈfəʊbɪə) /

noun

psychiatry an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object

Word Origin for phobia

C19: from Greek phobos fear

British Dictionary definitions for phobia (2 of 2)

-phobia

n combining form

indicating an extreme abnormal fear of or aversion toacrophobia; claustrophobia

Derived forms of -phobia

-phobic, adj combining form

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

Medical definitions for phobia (1 of 2)

phobia
[ fōbē-ə ]

n.

A persistent, abnormal, or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus.
A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

Medical definitions for phobia (2 of 2)

-phobia

suff.

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.

Cultural definitions for phobia

phobia
[ (foh-bee-uh) ]

An extreme and often unreasonable fear of some object, concept, situation, or person.

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.