a·gor·a·pho·bi·a (ə-gôr′ə-fōbē-ə, ăg′ər-ə-)
An anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear or anxiety about being in open or public places.
[Greek agorā, marketplace; see ger- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + –PHOBIA.]
a·gor′a·phobi·ac′ (-ăk′) n.
a·gor′a·phobic adj.& n.
Usage Note: The traditional pronunciation of agoraphobia places secondary stress on the first syllable (ăg′ər-ə-fōbē-ə). During the latter part of the 20th century, a variant pronunciation (ə-gôr′ə-fōbē-ə) with secondary stress on the second syllable became increasingly common even though at first it was met with criticism. In 2001, 66 percent of the Panel preferred the traditional pronunciation. A mere 13 years later, in 2014, that proportion had plummeted to 43 percent. The pronunciation variant has quickly gained acceptance, so much so that the new pronunciation was acceptable to more Panelists (73 percent) than was the traditional pronunciation (67 percent).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.