Meaning of “anxiety” in the English Dictionary

"anxiety" in British English

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uk /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.ti/ us /æŋˈzaɪ.ə.t̬i/

anxiety noun (WORRY)

B2 [ U ] an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future:

Children normally feel a lot of anxiety about their first day at school.
That explains his anxiety over his health.
Her son is a source of considerable anxiety.

[ C ] something that causes a feeling of fear and worry:

job anxieties

More examples

  • I regret any anxiety or concern that I may, unwittingly, have caused.
  • Jack observed a look of anxiety on his brother's face.
  • She felt acute anxiety at his behaviour.
  • Women tend to internalize all their anxiety and distress - men hit out.
  • Years of anxiety have lined her brow with deep furrows.

anxiety noun (EAGERNESS)

[ U + to infinitive ] eagerness to do something:

Peter's leaving at the end of this week - hence his anxiety to get his work finished.

More examples

  • She eased the key into the lock, anxious not to wake anyone.
  • The mayor and the city council are anxious to avoid getting entangled in the controversy.
  • The universities are anxious to preserve their autonomy from central government.
  • I'm anxious to avoid the motorway at rush hour.
  • We left early, anxious to make it back to Florence before sundown.

(Definition of “anxiety” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"anxiety" in American English

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anxietynoun [ C/U ]

us /æŋˈzɑɪ·ɪ·t̬i/

an uncomfortable feeling of worry about something that is happening or might happen, or a cause of this:

[ U ] For many children, every new school year causes anxiety.
[ C ] Don’t you have any fears or anxieties about middle age?

(Definition of “anxiety” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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