Definition of anxious in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈaŋ(k)ʃəs/


1Feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome: she was extremely anxious about her exams an anxious look
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, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy, ill at ease, perturbed, troubled, disquieted, bothered, disturbed, distressed, fretful, fretting, agitated, in a state of agitation, nervous, in a state of nerves, edgy, on edge, tense, overwrought, worked up, keyed up, strung out, jumpy, afraid, worried sick, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth, on pins and needles, stressed, under stress, in suspense, flurried
informal uptight, a bundle of nerves, on tenterhooks, with butterflies in one's stomach, like a cat on a hot tin roof, jittery, twitchy, in a state, in a stew, all of a dither, in a flap, in a sweat, in a tizz/tizzy, all of a lather, het up, in a twitter
British informal strung up, windy, having kittens, in a (flat) spin, stressy, like a cat on hot bricks
North American informal antsy, spooky, spooked, squirrelly, in a twit
Australian/New Zealand informal toey
1.1 [attributive] (Of a situation or period of time) 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.
2Very eager or concerned to do something or for something to happen: 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, itching, longing, yearning, aching, dying



Pronunciation: /ˈaŋkʃəsnəs/
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

Line breaks: anx|ious

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