n. pl. anx·i·e·ties
a. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
b. A cause of anxiety: For some people, air travel is a real anxiety.
2. Psychology A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear focused on the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
3. Eager, often agitated desire: my anxiety to make a good impression.
[Latin ānxietās, from ānxius, anxious; see ANXIOUS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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:
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