Last modified on 23 May 2014, at 23:48



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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Alternative formsEdit


Old French *anxios, Latin anxius, from angō (to cause pain, choke); akin to Ancient Greek ἄγχειν (ánkhein, to choke). See anger.



anxious (comparative anxiouser or more anxious, superlative anxiousest or most anxious)

  1. Full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, especially respecting something future or unknown; being in painful suspense;—applied to persons; as, anxious for the issue of a battle.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess[1]:
      Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
    • 2012 May 13, Alistair Magowan, “Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd”, BBC Sport:
      But, with United fans in celebratory mood as it appeared their team might snatch glory, they faced an anxious wait as City equalised in stoppage time.
    I could tell she was anxious as she was biting her nails.
  2. Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying;—applied to things; as, anxious labor.
    • John Milton
      The sweet of life, from which God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares.
  3. Earnestly desirous; as, anxious to please.
    All the voters were anxious to hear the election result.

Usage notesEdit

  • Anxious is followed by for, about, concerning, etc., before the object of solicitude.


Related termsEdit


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