Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
  • n. A cause of anxiety: For some people, air travel is a real anxiety.
  • n. Psychiatry A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
  • n. Eager, often agitated desire: my anxiety to make a good impression.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unpleasant state of mental uneasiness, nervousness, apprehension and obsession or concern about some uncertain event.
  • n. An uneasy or distressing desire (for something).
  • n. A state of restlessness and agitation, often accompanied by a distressing sense of oppression or tightness in the stomach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Concern or solicitude respecting some thing or event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasiness.
  • n. Eager desire.
  • n. A state of restlessness and agitation, often with general indisposition and a distressing sense of oppression at the epigastrium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The apprehension caused by danger, misfortune, or error; concern or solicitude respecting some event, future or uncertain; disturbance, uneasiness of mind, or care, occasioned by trouble.
  • n. In pathology, a state of restlessness and agitation, with general indisposition, and a distressing sense of oppression at the epigastrium.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune
  • n. (psychiatry) a relatively permanent state of worry and nervousness occurring in a variety of mental disorders, usually accompanied by compulsive behavior or attacks of panic

Etymologies

Latin ānxietās, from ānxius, anxious; see anxious.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin anxietātem, from anxius ("anxious, solicitous, distressed, troubled"), from angō ("to distress, trouble"). (Wiktionary)

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