anxious

anxious
Anxiety, ‘uneasiness or trouble of mind’ (first recorded in a work of c.1525 by Sir Thomas More) underlies the traditional meaning of anxious, and in the 20c the development of psychiatric concepts such as anxiety neurosis have strengthened the belief that a morbid state of mind is involved in the terms. In the 18c, anxious came to mean ‘full of desire and endeavour’ and was constructed with to; the phrase anxious to please appeared in Robert Blair's poem The Grave (1743), and Lord Nelson declared in 1794 that ‘The General seems as anxious as any of us to expedite the fall of the place’. Examples:

• No one seemed very anxious to come up with the spondulicks —Private Eye, 1980

• She's very anxious that you should like her —A. N. Wilson, 1982

• There are a number of men only too anxious to buy themselves a knighthood who might be most attracted to a project that catches the public sympathy —Claire Rayner, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anxious — Anx ious ([a^][ng]k sh[u^]s), a. [L. anxius, fr. angere to cause pain, choke; akin to Gr. a gchein to choke. See {Anger}.] 1. Full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, esp. respecting something future or unknown; being in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anxious — [aŋk′shəs, aŋ′shəs] adj. [L anxius < angere, to choke, give pain < IE base * angh : see ANGER] 1. having or showing anxiety; uneasy in mind; apprehensive; worried 2. causing or full of anxiety [an anxious hour] 3. eagerly wishing [anxious… …   English World dictionary

  • anxious — [adj1] worried, tense afraid, aghast, antsy*, apprehensive, basket case*, bugged*, butterflies, careful, choked*, clutched*, concerned, disquieted, distressed, disturbed, dreading, fearful, fidgety, fretful, hacked*, hyper*, in a state*, in a… …   New thesaurus

  • anxious — index eager, ready (willing), solicitous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • anxious — (adj.) 1620s, from L. anxius solicitous, uneasy, troubled in mind (also causing anxiety, troublesome ), from angere, anguere choke, squeeze, figuratively torment, cause distress (see ANGER (Cf. anger) (v.)). The same image is in Serbo Croatian… …   Etymology dictionary

  • anxious — 1 worried, concerned, solicitous, careful (see under CARE n) Analogous words: *fearful, apprehensive, afraid: uneasy, jittery, *impatient: perturbed, agitated, upset (see DISCOMPOSE) Antonyms: composed Contrasted words: *cool, unruffled,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • anxious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) experiencing worry or unease. 2) very eager and concerned to do something. DERIVATIVES anxiously adverb anxiousness noun. ORIGIN Latin anxius, from angere to choke …   English terms dictionary

  • anxious — anx|ious W3S3 [ˈæŋkʃəs] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: anxius] 1.) worried about something anxious about ▪ He was a bit anxious about the safety of the machinery. anxious for ▪ We were anxious for you. ▪ She gave me an anxious look.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • anxious — adj. 1) anxious about (anxious about the world situation) 2) anxious for (we were anxious for them to meet you) 3) anxious to + inf. (she is anxious to help) 4) anxious that + clause; subj. (he was very anxious that we meet/should meet) * * * [… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • anxious */*/ — UK [ˈæŋkʃəs] / US adjective 1) worried because you think something bad might happen His silence made me anxious. an anxious glance anxious about: People are naturally anxious about these tests. 2) wanting something very much, especially when this …   English dictionary

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