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 (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.


(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


(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.
anguish, anxious, anxiety - Anguish, anxious, and anxiety come from Latin angere, "to choke, squeeze, strangle."
See also related terms for squeeze.


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.
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"


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


In a state of anxiety or uneasiness:
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


[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


(= 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


[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


(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.


a. ansioso-a, anheloso-a, abatido-a, perturbado-a.


adj ansioso, nervioso
References in classic literature ?
When they had laughed at Beth's story, they asked their mother for one, and after a moments thought, she said soberly, "As I sat cutting out blue flannel jackets today at the rooms, I felt very anxious about Father, and thought how lonely and helpless we should be , if anything happened to him.
That was not what she wanted but it was so the young man had interpreted her approach to him, and so anxious was she to achieve something else that she made no resistance.
I'm only too anxious to go, and if it wasn't for the stabilizer I'd be with you in a minute.
Her voice was high and rather shrill, and she often spoke with an anxious inflection, for she was exceedingly desirous that everything should go with due order and decorum.
He whispered an anxious inquiry of the lady in black, who did not notice him or reply, but kept her eyes fastened upon the pages of her velvet prayer-book.
As the credulous and excited traveler related the hazardous chances of the wilderness, the blood of the timid curdled with terror, and mothers cast anxious glances even at those children which slumbered within the security of the largest towns.
It made him anxious, though he watched himself; he had been anxious all day and, even while in his usual sweet little manner he sat at table, had needed all his small strange genius to give it a gloss.
First came a stout puffy gentleman with a carpet bag; he wanted to go to the Bishopsgate station; then we were called by a party who wished to be taken to the Regent's Park; and next we were wanted in a side street where a timid, anxious old lady was waiting to be taken to the bank; there we had to stop to take her back again, and just as we had set her down a red-faced gentleman, with a handful of papers, came running up out of breath, and before Jerry could get down he had opened the door, popped himself in, and called out, "Bow Street Police Station, quick
Jennings had been anxious to see Colonel Brandon well married, ever since her connection with Sir John first brought him to her knowledge; and she was always anxious to get a good husband for every pretty girl.
Her object in accompanying her husband to London was to see a certain celebrated physician, and to consult him privately on a very delicate and anxious matter connected with the state of her health.
Now, my dear Lucie," drawing his arm soothingly round her waist, "I hear them moving in the next room, and Miss Pross and I, as two formal folks of business, are anxious not to lose the final opportunity of saying something to you that you wish to hear.
In vain did his anxious followers seek for him, he was nowhere to be found.