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distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune:
He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
earnest but tense desire; eagerness:
He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
Contemporary Examples

As anxiety about the declining television business permeates the Emmys, the show relies on … Kanye West jokes.
Stuff White People Like Choire Sicha September 20, 2009

“The more you have flubbed, the more the anxiety builds up,” says Frank, explaining the mental phenomenon Perry is experiencing.
Rick Perry’s Debate Performance Anxiety: Why He Chokes McKay Coppins November 11, 2011

Lynch says he discovered the practice 40 years via his sister when he was struggling with anger and anxiety.
David Lynch Discusses Transcendental Meditation in Los Angeles Sean Macaulay April 6, 2013

I have a lot of anxiety issues, but that wasn’t one of them.
‘Harry Potter’ for Grown-Ups Jane Ciabattari August 9, 2011

The unclaimed attack killed five people and infected 17, adding to the anxiety of the time.
Ricin Scare at the White House: An Eerie Post-9/11 Echo John Avlon April 16, 2013

Historical Examples

At the outset I was saved any anxiety by finding the river dirty.
Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior

Did Phidias express no anxiety concerning your unprotected situation?
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

anxiety, and not a desire to see life, had drawn him from his shell in Bison.
The Terms of Surrender Louis Tracy

The ring of anxiety in Grace’s voice had not been lost upon her.
Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus Jessie Graham Flower

Nor did anxiety over Toms fate interfere with their appetites.
Four Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour

noun (pl) -ties
a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry
intense desire; eagerness
(psychol) a state of intense apprehension or worry often accompanied by physical symptoms such as shaking, intense feelings in the gut, etc, common in mental illness or after a very distressing experience See also angst

1520s, from Latin anxietatem (nominative anxietas) “anguish, anxiety, solicitude,” noun of quality from anxius (see anxious). Psychiatric use dates to 1904. Age of Anxiety is from Auden’s poem (1947). For “anxiety, distress,” Old English had angsumnes, Middle English anxumnesse.

anxiety anx·i·e·ty (āng-zī’ĭ-tē)

A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.

A cause of anxiety.

A state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that normal physical and psychological functioning is disrupted.

Eager, often agitated desire.

A state of apprehension and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation. ◇ In psychiatry, a patient has an anxiety disorder ◇ if normal psychological functioning is disrupted or if anxiety persists without an identifiable cause.

Emotional distress, especially that brought on by fear of failure. (See also angst.)


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