Main definitions of panic in English

: panic1panic2

panic1

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behaviour:

    ‘she hit him in panic’
    [in singular] ‘he ran to the library in a blind panic’
    • ‘Mere emotions, fear distress or panic, will not suffice.’
    • ‘In my panic and fear, I could not remember where the dock was.’
    • ‘Indeed, closely aligned and overlapping neurochemical circuits may underlie separation anxiety and panic.’
    • ‘Now here I was, seized by a sudden fit of panic at the last minute, fearing that my head might never be the same again.’
    • ‘Health professionals and ministers are concerned about spreading panic and fear too many warnings might make the population complacent.’
    • ‘Anxiety symptoms were also high, with 64% reporting symptoms of fear, panic or anxiety.’
    • ‘Tommy moved up to the item she'd thrown up on stage, and sudden panic hit his face.’
    • ‘Chabon's local neighborhood becomes a site of panic, and people fear that which is not immediately recognizable.’
    • ‘The first chapter defines anxiety and the related constructs of worry, fear, and panic, and then goes on to discuss social anxiety in detail.’
    • ‘I keep getting waves of panic and anxiety today, I just can't seem to get it together.’
    • ‘I felt the salt water in my throat, the fear, panic, and dread.’
    • ‘In fact, the true power of such a device lies not in its ability to spread radiation but in its ability to spread panic and fear.’
    • ‘The resulting fear, panic and sheer terror of that evening, Tim postulated, was so great that a special bond remains.’
    • ‘He struggled wildly, his eyes dark with panic and fear.’
    • ‘But it is far more likely that you would be affected by fear and panic than a terrorist weapon.’
    • ‘Deaths and injuries sustained by ordinary people increase panic, fear, and pessimistic sentiments tenfold.’
    • ‘Their cameras witnessed death, dense panic and ashen fear.’
    • ‘So now here I am, full of fear and panic and anxiety once again.’
    • ‘For other survivors, grief is mixed with panic and fear.’
    • ‘If we expressed symptoms of panic and fear the diagnosis was clear.’
    alarm, anxiety, nervousness, fear, fright, trepidation, dread, terror, horror, agitation, hysteria, consternation, perturbation, dismay, disquiet, apprehension, apprehensiveness
    flap, fluster, state, cold sweat, funk, tizzy, tizz
    swivet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun] A state of widespread financial alarm provoking hasty action:
      ‘he caused an economic panic by his sudden resignation’
      [as modifier] ‘panic selling’
      • ‘Unlike more transitory fads and fashions, however, financial manias and panics have real and lasting economic consequences.’
      • ‘We should strengthen the IMF's ability to prevent financial panics from turning into full-scale economic meltdowns such as we've seen in Argentina.’
      • ‘This created a panic across central Europe, as investors rushed to the banks to retrieve their own investments before these were frozen too.’
      • ‘Bankruptcy laws originated in the 19th century, when a series of devastating financial panics caused many railroads to fail.’
      • ‘More importantly, the developing world has little to fear from sudden panic on Wall Street.’
      • ‘He works on banking, financial distress, and financial panics.’
      • ‘To grossly oversimplify, if everyone rushed to the bank to withdraw cash due to a financial panic, there would not be enough money for everyday business.’
      • ‘Avoidance of the lost production caused by financial panics would more than compensate for whatever reduction in investment might occur because of constrained short-term capital flows.’
      • ‘But not half as scary as the international financial panics which this book believes to be the defining characteristic of modern global capitalism.’
      • ‘Financial panic could turn a slowdown into a slump.’
      • ‘A sudden loss of liquidity - a shattering of the illusion of liquidity - was a key feature of financial panics long before asset-backed securities were introduced.’
      • ‘Some, on the other hand, were relatively capable business people brought down by the financial panics and depression of the late 1830s.’
      • ‘This suspension was unprecedented in that it was not preceded by a financial panic or a sudden demand for coin.’
      • ‘Another is his attempt to detect whether the financial panics had any real effects.’
      • ‘Still, U.S. financial markets were relatively undeveloped and subject to periodic panics and financial crises.’
      • ‘Before 11 September, there was already a tendency for financial and business panics to develop at any sign of difficulty.’
      • ‘Maybe the false story will set off a financial panic.’
      • ‘Which is not to say that playing by the rules always avoided chaos in the form of wild speculation, financial panics, and deep depressions.’
      • ‘The last two features created an inelastic currency; seasonal pressures in the money market; and a proclivity to financial panics, bank runs, and suspension of payments.’
      • ‘The authors trace inflation and financial panics to the federal government intervening into banking, which had up until that time been primarily a state matter.’
      • ‘The Fed was created to do two things: dampen the business cycle and keep financial panics from spreading to the real economy.’
    2. 1.2informal [count noun] A frenzied hurry to do something:
      ‘a workload of constant panics and rush jobs’
      • ‘I think people enjoy that frenzied panic of preparing for impending danger.’
      • ‘‘It used to be that they rushed around in a last-minute panic clutching a wad of notes,’ she said.’
      • ‘Despite the plan, officials and the haulage industry are keen to talk down the prospect of fuel protests for fear of sparking panic.’
      • ‘There was a panic, a rush to get as many people on board the escape ships as possible.’
      • ‘She broke free from Shane's arms and started to rush about in a mad panic.’
      • ‘She span off into a frenzied panic that could only be alleviated by rushing round to the neighbour's for a cup of tea.’
      • ‘It always starts near Kensington plaza, where people have abandoned their bags of groceries to rush home in a panic.’
      • ‘Betrand added that the fear of shortage prompted panic as some buyers purchased more cement than they usually purchased.’
      • ‘Housework has been relegated to an occasional frenzied panic in between working on my projects and my beloved blog gets written mostly in my head.’
      • ‘The village went into an uproarious panic as people scattered everywhere in confusion and fear.’
      • ‘As panic ensued gardaí rushed to the scene urging staff and customers to evacuate the building, as they searched to find the potential raider.’
      • ‘An early filling-up flurry by drivers sparked fears of panic buying at several Swindon garages yesterday.’
      • ‘In the panic and rush to establish bona fides, no one even dared to suggest that the public might be better off knowing about such matters.’

verb

  • 1Feel or cause to feel panic:

    [no object] ‘the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit’
    [with object] ‘talk of love panicked her’
    • ‘It was crowded and I started panicking and feeling faint.’
    • ‘People panicked and stampeded, blows rained down, people fell and hurt themselves in the melee.’
    • ‘Well, it's another scare, but it's something that we should not panic about.’
    • ‘He starts to panic like he always seems to do around me.’
    • ‘Everyone around began to panic at the sight and began to whisper and talk about what was going on.’
    • ‘He said the people seemed to panic more when the fire alarm went off.’
    • ‘I began to panic, terrified that the car would burst into flames and I wouldn't be able to escape.’
    • ‘When you get a scare everyone starts to panic, because you're not there with your small child and the worrying thing is that they can't tell you themselves.’
    • ‘Saleem claimed he had failed to report the accident because he panicked and was scared he would be attacked if he stayed.’
    • ‘With the proper preparation, and if you don't panic, a positive outcome is nearly always possible.’
    • ‘I didn't panic, freak out or do any silly praying stuff.’
    • ‘Up until now, there's been no cause to panic because living was always cheap here.’
    • ‘But with the end in sight, he panicked again and gave his opponent another chance in the fourth set.’
    • ‘I have an uncle in Washington; around him everyone was frightened, people were panicking.’
    • ‘The crowd panicked and some jumped into a well to be crushed by those jumping after them.’
    • ‘Terrified and panicking, he tried to kick in a glass door to escape his pursuers and, in doing so, fatally lacerated himself.’
    • ‘A contemporary newspaper account told of passers-by panicking at the sight of the topper.’
    • ‘We didn't have a telephone and, horrified at the sight of blood, I ran into the street panicking.’
    • ‘Oh, to be sure, there are always folks who panic, or loot.’
    • ‘This is not always the case and there is no point in panicking.’
    be alarmed, be scared, be nervous, be afraid, overreact, become panic-stricken, take fright, be filled with fear, be terrified, be agitated, be hysterical, lose one's nerve, be perturbed, get overwrought, get worked up, fall to pieces, go to pieces, lose control, fall apart
    frighten, alarm, scare, unnerve, fill with panic, agitate, horrify, terrify
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1panic someone into[with object] Drive someone through panic into (hasty action):
      ‘we are not going to be panicked into a decision’
      • ‘Before we allow him to panic her into packing her toothbrush and an airport novel bag for a stay in jail, let's review what happened the last time a leak prompted a federal investigation.’
      • ‘Who will want to compete, when the Government can be panicked into stepping in every time there is a complaint?’
      • ‘The club's manager appreciates that he has little time to prepare for the new Rugby League Premiership season, which kicks off on December 2, but he will not be panicked into rushing things.’
      • ‘Plenty of energy and communication from Kendal gave them superiority and Timperley were panicked into making mistakes.’
      • ‘The only goal came in the 25th minute when Crouch's knock-down panicked Scharner into reckless contact with Owen a yard inside the area.’
      • ‘They will also realise, no matter how long it takes, that they will not panic London into submission, nor will their ultimate aims succeed.’
      • ‘This panics me into a second's delay, so she decides for me and gets stuck in with the Relaxation Blend before I have the chance to ask her if she would just like to talk instead.’
      • ‘He said that the Government has been panicked into providing stand-by generation.’
      • ‘There were a number of options on the table, some of which were attractive, but the manager says he will not be panicked into making a decision until the future becomes clear.’
      • ‘They love to panic customers into buying their overpriced insurance cover.’
      • ‘The government was panicked into releasing a statement today in relation to baby care, and it's poorly done, it's poorly researched and it's poorly thought out.’
      • ‘Too often they were panicked into giving away penalties and that cost them dear in their final three matches after they had recovered from that England beating.’

Phrases

  • panic stations

    • informal A state of alarm or emergency:

      ‘many people were at panic stations because of popular unrest’
      • ‘The sides were level and it was panic stations on the Limerick line.’
      • ‘It would be more desirable to keep the power on, but realistically it is not panic stations if they do not stay on.’
      • ‘It bounced down off the underside, on to the line and out with City at panic stations.’
      • ‘It was panic stations because I didn't know where she was.’
      • ‘Sidelined defender Gary Hobson believes York City must stand down from their panic stations to spark a rise up the table.’
      • ‘Davis, 46, beaten in the opening round of the campaign's first three tournaments, said: ‘It wasn't quite panic stations but it's nice to kick-start my season.’’
      • ‘‘We are not at panic stations and I am sure we can do the business against them this weekend,’ Moorby continued.’
      • ‘The team rang panic stations, and yet also retained composure.’
      • ‘She got into the local drive and I started to explain to her how to find a file which was saved on the desktop and her panic stations shut down.’
      • ‘So, I'm afraid it's panic stations here for the moment.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from French panique, from modern Latin panicus, from Greek panikos, from the name of the god Pan, noted for causing terror, to whom woodland noises were attributed.

Pronunciation:

panic

/ˈpanɪk/

Main definitions of panic in English

: panic1panic2

panic2

(also panic grass)

noun

  • [mass noun] A cereal and fodder grass of a group including millet.

    • ‘Two of the most common, but functionally indeterminate, grass grains regularly identified from American Bottom sites are panic grass (Panicum sp.) and beardgrass.’
    • ‘I live on the unfashionable west side of Santa Fe, where the neighborhood is small and funky, adobe houses sitting in well-tended yards of flax and hollyhocks or the neglected ones of dirt and panic grass with a few old car parts thrown in.’
    • ‘Trials with rhodes, panic and seteria grasses in particular have proven successful in providing year round pastures in areas unsuitable for cropping.’
    • ‘In microsites with higher light intensity, little bluestem, big bluestem, Indian grass, and panic grass dominated.’
    • ‘Researchers identified a class of small heat-shock proteins whose concentration in the roots of hot springs panic grass increases as the soil temperature rises.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin panicum, from panus ear of millet (literally thread wound on a bobbin), based on Greek pēnos web, pēnion bobbin.

Pronunciation:

panic

/ˈpanɪk/