Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “panic”

panic

noun [C usually singular, U] uk   /ˈpæn.ɪk/ us  
B2 a sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought and action: a state of panic Panic spread through the crowd as the bullets started to fly. Carmel was in a panic about her exam. He got in(to) a panic that he would forget his lines on stage.Fear and phobiasAnxiety and worry - general words

panic

verb [I or T] uk   /ˈpæn.ɪk/ (present participle panicking, past tense and past participle panicked) us  
B2 to suddenly feel so worried or frightened that you cannot think or behave calmly or reasonably: Don't panic! Everything will be okay. The sound of gunfire panicked the crowd. The boss always panics over/about the budget every month.Afraid
(Definition of panic from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of panic?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Fear & phobias, but you might be interested in these topics from the Psychology, psychiatry, & psychoanalysis topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “panic” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sling

to throw or drop something carelessly

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More