Definition of anxious in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaNG(k)SHəs/


1Experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome: she was extremely anxious about her exams
More example sentences
  • There is actually another group of people who are much more anxious about the outcome than any of the above.
  • Now they are also edgy, anxious, fearful, often depressed and undeniably kinder.
  • His anxious relatives are desperate for reassurance that he is safe.
worried, concerned, uneasy, apprehensive, fearful, perturbed, troubled, bothered, disturbed, distressed, disquieted, fretful, agitated, nervous, edgy, antsy, unquiet, on edge, tense, overwrought, worked up, keyed up, jumpy, worried sick, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth
informal uptight, on tenterhooks, with butterflies in one's stomach, trepidatious, jittery, twitchy, in a dither, in a lather, in a tizzy, het up
strung out, having kittens;
antsy, spooked, squirrelly
1.1 [attributive] (Of a period of time or situation) causing or characterized by worry or nervousness: there were some anxious moments
More example sentences
  • We had a bit of an anxious moment while we looked for the area, only to happily discover it was just north of our turnoff to the east.
  • However her supporters had some anxious moments before they collected their winnings.
  • They began stringing the ball about in a confident fashion not witnessed during the anxious moments late last year.
2 [usu with infinitive] Wanting something very much, typically with a feeling of unease: the company was anxious to avoid any trouble [with clause]: my parents were anxious that I get an education
More example sentences
  • You can't look up anymore, only down at the ground, anxious to avoid a similar encounter.
  • Both are anxious to avoid a house price and consumer spending crash.
  • As children, when my brother Bob and I were anxious to avoid doing our homework, we'd fly round to her house.
eager, keen, desirous, impatient


Anxious and eager both mean ‘looking forward to something,’ but they have different connotations. Eager suggests enthusiasm about something, a positive outlook: I’m eager to get started on my vacation. Anxious implies worry about something: I’m anxious to get started before it rains.



Pronunciation: /ˈaNG(k)SHəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • She was young enough to feel the excitement of the journey and old enough to sense the worry and anxiousness of her parents.
  • There was a sense of peace and serenity in the room that I was lying in, instead of the feeling of anxiousness and fear that I had felt while I was walking in the alleyway.
  • Withdrawn children also exhibit signs of emotional distress such as anxiousness, and display less positive expressions.


Early 17th century: from Latin anxius (from angere 'to choke') + -ous.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: anx·ious

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