anxious

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English[edit]

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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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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 forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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.
    I could tell she was anxious as she was biting her nails.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter I:
      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, 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.
  2. Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying;—applied to things; as, anxious labor.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      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.
    • Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859)
      He sneers alike at those who are anxious to preserve and at those who are eager for reform.

Usage notes[edit]

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

Synonyms[edit]

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