Also found in: Thesaurus.
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.
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.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||anxiousness - (psychiatry) a relatively permanent state of worry and nervousness occurring in a variety of mental disorders, usually accompanied by compulsive behavior or attacks of panic|
psychiatry, psychological medicine, psychopathology - the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
mental condition, mental state, psychological condition, psychological state - (psychology) a mental condition in which the qualities of a state are relatively constant even though the state itself may be dynamic; "a manic state"
castration anxiety - (psychoanalysis) anxiety resulting from real or imagined threats to your sexual functions; originally applied only to men but can in principle apply to women
overanxiety - excessive anxiety
|2.||anxiousness - a feeling of mild anxiety about possible developments|
anxiety - a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune