Definitions

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

  • adj. Uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.
  • adj. Attended with, showing, or causing anxiety: spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.
  • adj. Usage Problem Eagerly or earnestly desirous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, especially respecting something future or unknown; being in painful suspense;—applied to persons; as, anxious for the issue of a battle.
  • adj. Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying;—applied to things; as, anxious labor.
  • adj. Earnestly desirous; as, anxious to please.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, esp. respecting something future or unknown; being in painful suspense; -- applied to persons.
  • adj. Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying; -- applied to things.
  • adj. Earnestly desirous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of anxiety or solicitude; greatly troubled or solicitous, especially about something future or unknown; being in painful suspense: applied to persons.
  • Attended with, proceeding from, or manifesting solicitude or uneasiness: applied to things: as, anxious forebodings; anxious labor.
  • Earnestly desirous or solicitous: as, anxious to please; anxious to do right.

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

  • adj. eagerly desirous
  • adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety

Etymologies

From Latin ānxius, from angere, to torment; see angh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French *anxios, Latin anxius, from angō ("to cause pain, choke"); akin to Ancient Greek ἄγχειν ('a`gchein, "to choke"). See anger. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Jack had pulled the van up against the curb and was sitting in the passenger seat, his expression anxious, his cell phone in his hand, and a wide-eyed Eerie in his lap.

    Etched in Bone

  • Katie stepped in front of Britt, her expression anxious.

    The Flower Man

  • Katie leaned across the seat, her expression anxious.

    The Flower Man

  • It gives us the English word "anxious", signalling a place that presses against you, where the walls are tight, and you might be too big to get through.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • “The door’s locked,” zh’Thiin said, her expression anxious as she regarded him, “but I don’t know how long it will keep them out.”

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact Paths of Disharmony

  • The 33 miners, all of whom had spent the past 12 hours in anxious vigil gathered at the section of the tunnel where the drill bit entered, celebrated.

    Chilean miners closer to freedom with rescue tunnel complete

  • Rats and dogs showing such behavior after stress are called anxious or depressed.

    Bummed-Out Bees

  • Bernie Ecclestone looked like a man in anxious search of his own personal run-off area as he inspected the facilities at Formula One's new circuit, Yeongam, in South Korea yesterday.

    Bernie Ecclestone's circus struggles to bed down in F1's Blackpool

  • The native sailors formed in anxious groups amidships and for'ard, where they talked in low voices and gazed apprehensively at the ominous sky and the equally ominous sea that breathed in long, low, oily undulations.

    A LITTLE ACCOUNTWITH SWITHIN HALL

  • So anxious is Goldberg to dismiss the idea that a part of the right is “anti-education” that he actually attributes arguments to me that I never made.

    A response to Jonah Goldberg on anti-elitism

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