• IPA(key): /njʊəˈɹɒtɪk/, /njəˈɹɒtɪk/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒtɪk


Formed of neuro- (of nerves or the nervous system) +‎ -otic (having abnormal condition). The initial element, in turn, is from Ancient Greek νεῦρον (neûron, nerve). Attested from the 17th century. Compare French névrotique.


neurotic (not comparable)

  1. Affected with a neurosis.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience Lecture I:
      If there were such a thing as inspiration from a higher realm, it might well be that the neurotic temperament would furnish the chief condition of the requisite receptivity.
  2. (informal) Overly anxious.
    He is getting neurotic about time-keeping.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VI, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “I don't mean all of your friends—only a small proportion—which, however, connects your circle with that deadly, idle, brainless bunch—the insolent chatterers at the opera, the gorged dowagers, the worn-out, passionless men, [], the speed-mad fugitives from the furies of ennui, the neurotic victims of mental cirrhosis, []!”
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter VIII, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      “You did come down a wallop, didn't you? How art thou fallen from heaven, oh Lucifer, son of the morning, I said to myself. You're so terribly neurotic, Bertie. You must try to be less jumpy. What you need is a good nerve tonic.”
  3. (medicine) Useful in disorders of, or affecting, the nerves.



neurotic (plural neurotics)

  1. A person who has a neurosis



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