anxious

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin anxius, from angō (to cause pain, choke); akin to Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ánkhō, to choke). See anger; angst.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈaŋ(k)ʃəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæŋ(k).ʃəs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: anx‧ious

AdjectiveEdit

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

  1. Nervous and worried.
  2. Having a feeling of anxiety or disquietude; extremely concerned, especially about something that will happen in the future or that is unknown.
    She was anxious to hear how her test results were.
    I could tell she was anxious as she was biting her nails.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0056:
      Thanks to that penny he had just spent so recklessly [on a newspaper] he would pass a happy hour, taken, for once, out of his anxious, despondent, miserable self. It irritated him shrewdly to know that these moments of respite from carking care would not be shared with his poor wife, with careworn, troubled Ellen.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in 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”, in 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.
  3. (of things) Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying.
    anxious labor
    There was an anxious wait before the results were revealed.
  4. Earnestly desirous.
    He is anxious to please, so you can count on him.
    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.
  • Some argue that this word should only be used in the sense of "worried" or "worrisome".

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