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worried, troubled; full of mental distress or uneasiness: She felt anxious about her child’s high fever.; excited: I’m anxious about the game.
Not to be confused with:
eager – earnestly desirous, enthusiastic: She was eager to see him again. [These words once had different meanings but anxious is now an acceptable synonym for eager in some cases: He was anxious to see the play.]
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


 (ăngk′shəs, ăng′shəs)
1. Uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.
2. Attended with, showing, or causing anxiety: spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.
3. Usage Problem Eagerly or earnestly desirous.

[From Latin ānxius, from angere, to torment; see angh- in Indo-European roots.]

anx′ious·ly adv.
anx′ious·ness n.
Usage Note: Anxious has a long history of use as a synonym for eager, but some prefer that anxious be used only to describe those who are worried or uneasy, as in the sentence He's anxious about his upcoming surgery. The acceptability of anxious to mean eager has been increasing, however. In our 1999 survey of the Usage Panel, 47 percent approved of the sentence We are anxious to see the new show of British sculpture at the museum, whereas in 2014, this sentence was acceptable to 57 percent of panelists. The acceptability was higher for this usage in a sentence about a situation with a tinge of uneasiness: After a four-hour bus ride, the children were anxious to get outside (acceptable to 69 percent of the Panel in 1999 and 78 percent in 2014). Although resistance to the use of anxious to mean eager is waning, writers should be aware that there are still those who frown upon using the word in situations where no anxiety is present.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈæŋkʃəs; ˈæŋʃəs)
1. worried and tense because of possible misfortune, danger, etc; uneasy
2. fraught with or causing anxiety; worrying; distressing: an anxious time.
3. intensely desirous; eager: anxious for promotion.
[C17: from Latin anxius; related to Latin angere to torment; see anger, anguish]
ˈanxiously adv
ˈanxiousness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈæŋk ʃəs, ˈæŋ-)

1. full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; worried.
2. earnestly desirous; eager.
3. attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness: anxious forebodings.
[1615–25; < Latin anxius worried, distressed, derivative of angere to strangle, pain, distress; compare anguish, -ous]
anx′ious•ly, adv.
anx′ious•ness, n.
usage: anxious has had the meaning “earnestly desirous, eager” since the mid-18th century: We are anxious to see our new grandson. Although some insist that anxious must always convey a sense of distress or worry, the sense “eager” is fully standard.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
anguish, anxious, anxiety - Anguish, anxious, and anxiety come from Latin angere, "to choke, squeeze, strangle."
See also related terms for squeeze.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'anxious about'

If you are anxious about someone or something, you are worried about them.

I was quite anxious about George.
2. 'anxious to'

If you are anxious to do something, you want very much to do it.

We are very anxious to find out what really happened.
He seemed anxious to go.

Be Careful!
Don't say that someone is 'anxious for doing' something.

3. 'anxious for'

If you are anxious for something, you want to have it, or you want it to happen.

Many civil servants are anxious for promotion.
He was anxious for a deal, and we gave him the best we could.
4. 'anxious that'

If you are anxious that something happen, or anxious that something should happen, you want it to happen very much.

My parents were anxious that I go to college.
He is anxious that there should be no delay.
5. 'anxious' and 'nervous'

Don't confuse anxious with nervous. If you are nervous, you are rather frightened about something that you are going to do or experience.

I began to get nervous about crossing roads.
Both actors were very nervous on the day of the performance.


1. 'nervous'

If you are nervous, you are rather frightened about something that you are going to do or experience.

My daughter is nervous about starting school.
2. 'anxious'

If you are worried about something that might happen to someone else, don't say that you are 'nervous'. Say that you are anxious.

It's time to be going home – your mother will be anxious.
I had to deal with calls from anxious relatives.
See anxious
3. 'irritated' and 'annoyed'

If something makes you angry and impatient because you cannot stop it continuing, don't say that it makes you 'nervous'. Say that you are irritated or annoyed by it.

Perhaps they were irritated by the sound of crying.
I was annoyed by his questions.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.anxious - eagerly desirousanxious - eagerly desirous; "anxious to see the new show at the museum"; "dying to hear who won"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
eager - having or showing keen interest or intense desire or impatient expectancy; "eager to learn"; "eager to travel abroad"; "eager for success"; "eager helpers"; "an eager look"
2.anxious - causing or fraught with or showing anxietyanxious - causing or fraught with or showing anxiety; "spent an anxious night waiting for the test results"; "cast anxious glances behind her"; "those nervous moments before takeoff"; "an unquiet mind"
troubled - characterized by or indicative of distress or affliction or danger or need; "troubled areas"; "fell into a troubled sleep"; "a troubled expression"; "troubled teenagers"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. eager, keen, intent, yearning, impatient, itching, ardent, avid, expectant, desirous He is anxious that there should be no delay.
eager reluctant, hesitant, loath, nonchalant, disinclined
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


In a state of anxiety or uneasiness:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
تَوّاق إلىقَلِق، مُضْطَرِب البالمُسَبِّب لِلقَلَق
horlivě usilujícíplný úzkostiznepokojenýznepokojující
keliantis susirūpinimąkupinas įtamposlabai norintisneramiaisusirūpinęs
ļoti gribošsnemierīgsnemierpilnsnoraizējiesnorūpējies
horlivo sa usilujúci
can atanendişe vericiendişeliheveslikaygı verici


[ˈæŋkʃəs] ADJ
1. (= worried) [person] → preocupado, inquieto; [expression] → de preocupación, de inquietud; [face, eyes] → angustiado
you'd better go home, your mother will be anxiouses mejor que te vayas a casa, tu madre estará preocupada or inquieta
to be anxious about sthestar preocupado por algo
he was anxious about starting his new joble preocupaba empezar en el nuevo trabajo
I'm very anxious about youme tienes muy preocupado
to become or get anxiousponerse nervioso
to feel anxiousestar preocupado, estar inquieto
with an anxious glancecon una mirada llena de preocupación or inquietud
in an anxious voiceen un tono angustiado
2. (= worrying) [situation, wait] → angustioso; [hours, days] → lleno de ansiedad, angustioso
it's been a very anxious time for meha sido un periodo muy angustioso para mí, he pasado un periodo lleno de ansiedad
it was an anxious momentfue un momento angustioso
3. (= keen) he's anxious that nothing should go wrongno quiere que exista el más mínimo riesgo de que algo salga mal, no quiere de ninguna manera que nada vaya mal
I am very anxious that he should goquiero que vaya a toda costa
she is anxious to see you before you gotiene muchas ganas de verte antes de que te vayas
I'm not very anxious to gotengo pocas ganas de ir
anxious to please her mother, she cleaned the housedeseosa de or deseando agradar a su madre, limpió la casa
to be anxious for reformdesear or ansiar una reforma
he is anxious for resultsestá deseoso de or ansioso por ver resultados
to be anxious for promotion/successansiar or ambicionar un ascenso/el éxito
he was anxious for her to leaveestaba impaciente por que ella se marchara, tenía muchas ganas de que ella se marchara
4. (Med, Psych) [feeling] → de angustia; [person] → que padece de ansiedad
to be anxiouspadecer ansiedad
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈæŋkʃəs] adj
(= worried) [person, expression] → anxieux/euse, (très) inquiet/ète
to be anxious about sb → se faire du souci pour qn
I'm very anxious about you → Je me fais beaucoup de souci pour toi.
to grow anxious, to get anxious → s'inquiéter
(= causing worry) [time, moment] → angoissant(e)
(= keen) to be anxious to do sth → tenir à faire qch, tenir beaucoup à faire qch
to be anxious that ... → tenir à ce que ..., tenir beaucoup à ce que ...
to be anxious for sth → tenir à qch, tenir beaucoup à qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= worried)besorgt; person (as character trait) → ängstlich; thoughtsängstlich; to be anxious about somebody/somethingsich (dat)um jdn/etw Sorgen machen, um jdn/etw besorgt sein; to be anxious about doing somethingAngst haben, etw zu tun
(= worrying) moment, minutesder Angst, bang; waitbang; it’s been an anxious time for us allwir alle haben uns (in dieser Zeit) große Sorgen gemacht; he had an anxious time waiting for …es war für ihn eine Zeit voll bangen Wartens auf (+acc)
(= strongly desirous) to be anxious for somethingauf etw (acc)aus sein; we are anxious for all the assistance we can getuns geht es darum, jede nur mögliche Hilfe zu bekommen; to be anxious to do somethingbestrebt sein or darauf aus sein, etw zu tun; they were anxious to start/for his returnsie warteten sehr darauf abzufahren/auf seine Rückkehr; I am anxious that he should do it or for him to do itmir liegt viel daran, dass er es tut
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈæŋkʃəs] adj
a. (worried) → preoccupato/a, ansioso/a, in ansia, inquieto/a
I'm very anxious about you → sono molto preoccupato or in pensiero per te
with an anxious glance → con uno sguardo pieno d'ansia
b. (causing worry, moment) → angoscioso/a
c. (eager) anxious for sth/to do sthimpaziente di qc/di fare qc
I am anxious that she should do it → ci tengo moltissimo che lo faccia
he is anxious for success → ha un grande desiderio di successo
I'm not very anxious to go → ho poca voglia di andarci
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈӕŋkʃəs) adjective
1. worried about what may happen or have happened. She is anxious about her father's health.
2. causing worry, fear or uncertainty. an anxious moment.
3. wanting very much (to do etc something). He's very anxious to please.
ˈanxiously adverb
anxiety (aŋˈzaiəti) noun
His health is a great anxiety to me; filled with anxiety about her child's health.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


a. ansioso-a, anheloso-a, abatido-a, perturbado-a.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


adj ansioso, nervioso
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
At other times my temperament was of the nervous and anxious sort, and my tendency was to exaggerate any difficulties that might place themselves in my way.
He must have been anxious, though no doubt he had collected beforehand on the shores of the Gauls a store of information from the talk of traders, adventurers, fishermen, slave-dealers, pirates - all sorts of unofficial men connected with the sea in a more or less reputable way.
Having learnt enough, in the meanwhile, from her open-hearted brother, of what had passed between him and Lady Susan to sink the latter lower than ever in her opinion, she was proportionably more anxious to get Frederica removed from such a mother, and placed under her own care; and, though with little hope of success, was resolved to leave nothing unattempted that might offer a chance of obtaining her sister-in-law's consent to it.
The prince was anxious to miss nothing of which he would be asked at home, had he seen that in Russia?
Accordingly, after a little anxious but bewildered counsel, it was determined that several small detachments should start off in different directions, headed by the several partners.
Lemarrois had just arrived at a gallop with Bonaparte's stern letter, and Murat, humiliated and anxious to expiate his fault, had at once moved his forces to attack the center and outflank both the Russian wings, hoping before evening and before the arrival of the Emperor to crush the contemptible detachment that stood before him.
Tip would have laughed -- had he not been so anxious about his man Jack.
Upon my soul, I could hardly be more anxious about her, if I was her father.
So he went into the palace to get the ornament which was the transformation of the Tin Woodman, and they all awaited his return with considerable impatience, for they were anxious to leave this underground cavern and see the sunshine once more.
I believe that she is really very anxious that her presence in London, just now should not be generally known."
The Musgroves are behaving like themselves, most honourably and kindly, only anxious with true parental hearts to promote their daughter's comfort.
While they were assembled in anxious expectation of some terrible calamity, out came a Mouse.