Definition of phobia in English:



  • An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.

    ‘she suffered from a phobia about birds’
    • ‘As I grew up and began to delve into myself a little more, I learnt the truth behind fears - from phobias to totally rational terrors.’
    • ‘Do you treat social phobias the same way you treat the other phobias, like a fear of heights, for example?’
    • ‘She and I share a lot of the same fears and phobias.’
    • ‘Certainly, an excessive capacity for fear leads to all sorts of problems that many people would dearly love to be free of, such as phobias and panic attacks.’
    • ‘No matter how big or brave some of us appear to be, we all have our secret fears; phobias which reduce us to babbling physical wrecks.’
    • ‘Apart from health problems, it makes children superstitious and exposes them to morbid fears and phobias.’
    • ‘At this time, the patient is open to suggestion, and can be desensitised towards fears, phobias, pain and personal issues.’
    • ‘Fears and phobias and creative blocks spring to my mind.’
    • ‘Irrational fears and phobias, for example, are essentially habits of mind that we acquire, not feelings we were born with.’
    • ‘Jane is one of thousands in this country who suffer from a phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder.’
    • ‘A phobia is an irrational, uncontrollable fear of a specific object or situation.’
    • ‘And because those thoughts are at the forefront of our minds, we forget to act on the other fears and phobias that need release.’
    • ‘As for society, it needs to confront its petty phobias, paranoid fears and recognize the self in the other.’
    • ‘The child may develop school phobias, compulsive eating or psychosomatic illnesses.’
    • ‘It is certainly possible to argue that neurotic symptoms, like phobias or obsessions, are strictly determined.’
    • ‘It accounts for most of our fears, even our likes and dislikes, and phobias.’
    • ‘If the object of the fear is easy to avoid, people with phobias may not feel the need to seek treatment.’
    • ‘Benumbed fear often turns into panic, phobias, irrational prejudice, and violence.’
    • ‘Sharron developed several phobias including claustrophobia and a feeling of uncleanliness no matter how often she washed.’
    • ‘I am more stressed, more depressed and still suffer from various fears and phobias.’
    abnormal fear, irrational fear, obsessive fear, fear, dread, horror, terror, dislike, hatred, loathing, detestation, distaste, aversion, antipathy, revulsion, repulsion
    spectre, bugbear, bogey, nightmare, bête noire
    complex, fixation, preoccupation, idée fixe, mania, neurosis, anxiety, obsession
    thing, hang-up
    View synonyms


Late 18th century: independent usage of -phobia.