One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.
persecution complex, delusions, obsession, megalomania, monomaniaView synonyms
- ‘Twenty years of turmoil followed; five breakdowns including episodes of paranoia and delusions.’
- ‘He spent some time in America and there he began to show signs of paranoia and other aspects of mental disturbance.’
- ‘The most common symptom of paranoia is the belief that someone or something is persecuting you.’
- ‘Mr Crosland said Day's use of amphetamines had caused delusions and paranoia.’
- ‘He said people suffering from paranoia are known to have a capacity to be very dangerous.’
- 1.1 Unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people.‘mild paranoia afflicts all prime ministers’
- ‘This is a city prone to paranoia at the best of times, as personified by that quintessential New Yorker, Woody Allen.’
- ‘In any organism, person, organisation, or even country stress leads to paranoia.’
- ‘I almost thought I could see a dark shape through the veil of flames, but I passed it off as paranoia.’
- ‘The film succeeds because we are made to feel a little bit of the confusion, paranoia and madness of war.’
- ‘The paranoia of a parent who's lost their child is easy to empathise with and makes gripping drama.’
- ‘When two young men are driving along the highway one evening, they are flagged down by a cop and anxiety soon turns to paranoia.’
- ‘Face it, our information is safer when we have a healthy dose of paranoia regarding it.’
- ‘I think paranoia is only useful if you're in combat and need to be constantly ready to kill.’
- ‘It is a tale of psychological terror and at its heart are paranoia and fear.’
- ‘America's predominant mental state was one of anticommunist paranoia.’
- ‘She felt paranoia and panic rising up to claim her, but she wouldn't let that happen.’
- ‘Let it never be said that the Left doesn't have its fair share of paranoia and persecution complexes.’
- ‘Live in a state of perpetual paranoia and always know what your competitors are doing.’
- ‘In many cases, these suspicions may be so unreasonable as to border on paranoia.’
- ‘Well it was too late now and my jealousy and paranoia grew on one fateful Friday afternoon.’
- ‘Who expects to find an aging Spanish nanny at the center of a tale of religious hysteria, paranoia, murder and revenge?’
- ‘On the space station that orbits Solaris, paranoia has evolved into a degree of mistrust, bordering on terror.’
- ‘Setting aside suspicion and paranoia, surely highways officials must have a plan for the future of this area.’
- ‘She looked like she was on the edge of paranoia from being watched as though she was on display.’
- ‘The atmosphere of universal suspicion and vigilance of the Terror years was not irrational paranoia.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek, from paranoos ‘distracted’, from para ‘irregular’ + noos ‘mind’.
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