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neurosis Line breaks: neur|osis
Pronunciation: /ˌnjʊəˈrəʊsɪs/

Definition of neurosis in English:

noun (plural neuroses ˌnjʊəˈrəʊsiːz)

1A relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviour, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality: Freud’s two-stage account of neurosis [count noun]: psychoses, neuroses, and personality disorders Compare with psychosis.
More 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, mental disturbance, mental derangement, mental instability, psychological maladjustment, psychoneurosis, psychopathy;
obsession, phobia, fixation
1.1(In non-technical use) excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession: too much neurosis about a child’s progress is unproductive
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
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