Meaning of “worry” in the English Dictionary

"worry" in British English

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uk /ˈwʌr.i/ us /ˈwɝː.i/

worry verb (PROBLEM)

A2 [ I ] to think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy and frightened:

Try not to worry - there's nothing you can do to change the situation.
Don't worry, she'll be all right.
It's silly worrying about things which are outside your control.
[ + (that) ] She's worried (that) she might not be able to find another job.

B2 [ T ] to make someone feel unhappy and frightened because of problems or unpleasant things that might happen:

You worried your mother by not writing.
[ + that ] It worries me that he hasn't phoned yet.
The continued lack of rain is starting to worry people.

More examples

  • Don't worry about a thing. I'll take care of it all.
  • My elderly mother worries that she's a burden to me.
  • Sometimes I worry about the future.
  • She'd worried quite needlessly about whether there would be enough food.
  • You needn't worry - I'm not going to mention it to anyone.

worry verb (ANIMAL)

[ T ] If a dog worries another animal, it chases and frightens it and might also bite it:

Any dog caught worrying sheep in these fields will be shot.


uk /ˈwʌr.i/ us /ˈwɝː.i/

B1 [ C ] a problem that makes you feel unhappy and frightened:

Keeping warm in the winter is a major worry for many old people.

B2 [ C or U ] a feeling of being unhappy and frightened about something:

Unemployment, bad health - all sorts of things can be a cause of worry.
It was clear that Anna had no worries about her husband's attempts to flirt.

More examples

  • She was nearly demented with worry when her son didn't come home.
  • I wanted to make amends for the worry I've caused you.
  • Where on earth have you been? We've been frantic with worry.
  • Some people glide effortlessly through life with no real worries.
  • That's my kind of holiday - no phone, no TV and no worries.
no worries

used to tell someone that a situation is acceptable, even if something has gone wrong:

"Oh, I'm sorry I got your name wrong!" "No worries".

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

"worry" in American English

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worryverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈwɜr·i, ˈwʌr·i/

to think about problems or unpleasant things that make you anxious, or to make someone feel anxious:

[ I ] If you get a monthly train ticket, you won’t have to worry about buying a ticket every day.
[ I ] My mother always worries about me when I don’t come home by midnight.
[ I ] "Will you be all right walking home?" "Don’t worry – I’ll be fine."
[ + that clause ] She worried that she might not be able to find another job.
[ T ] A lot of things worried him about his roommate.
noun [ C/U ] us /ˈwɜr·i, ˈwʌr·i/

[ C ] Fortunately, right now we don’t have any worries about money.

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