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neurosis Syllabification: neu·ro·sis
Pronunciation: /n(y)o͝oˈrōsəs/

Definition of neurosis in English:

noun (plural neuroses-ˌsēz)

1A relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality. Compare with psychosis.
Example sentences
  • Freud presented the world of phantasy as a ‘storehouse’ that the patient can draw on to feed both his neurosis and his psychosis.
  • These substitutions are sometimes viewed as part of a neurosis or psychosis.
  • There are other conditions which may cause a malfunctioning of the mind which, while they may have an organic cause, are not neuroses or psychoses, for example, epilepsy or hyperglycaemia arising from diabetes.
mental illness, mental disorder, psychological disorder;
psychoneurosis, psychopathy;
obsession, phobia, fixation;
Medicine  neuroticism
1.1(In nontechnical use) excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession: apprehension over mounting debt has created a collective neurosis in the business world
More example sentences
  • OK, so I'm a quivering bundle of irrational neuroses, but that's not the point.
  • So what made this scene so powerfully articulate ‘collective neuroses and fears’?
  • We need a disposal service for our collective neuroses, something to clear away the rubbish of our self-regard and pomposity.


Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from neuro- 'of nerves' + -osis.

Words that rhyme with neurosis

apotheosis, chlorosis, cirrhosis, diagnosis, halitosis, hypnosis, kenosis, meiosis, metempsychosis, misdiagnosis, mononucleosis, myxomatosis, necrosis, osmosis, osteoporosis, prognosis, psittacosis, psychosis, sclerosis, symbiosis, thrombosis, toxoplasmosis, trichinosis, tuberculosis
Definition of neurosis in:
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