Definition of phobia in US English:



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

    ‘he had a phobia about being under water’
    ‘a phobia of germs’
    ‘a snake phobia’
    • ‘I am more stressed, more depressed and still suffer from various fears and phobias.’
    • ‘At this time, the patient is open to suggestion, and can be desensitised towards fears, phobias, pain and personal issues.’
    • ‘And because those thoughts are at the forefront of our minds, we forget to act on the other fears and phobias that need release.’
    • ‘It is certainly possible to argue that neurotic symptoms, like phobias or obsessions, are strictly determined.’
    • ‘If the object of the fear is easy to avoid, people with phobias may not feel the need to seek treatment.’
    • ‘Fears and phobias and creative blocks spring to my mind.’
    • ‘Jane is one of thousands in this country who suffer from a phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder.’
    • ‘The child may develop school phobias, compulsive eating or psychosomatic illnesses.’
    • ‘Irrational fears and phobias, for example, are essentially habits of mind that we acquire, not feelings we were born with.’
    • ‘Do you treat social phobias the same way you treat the other phobias, like a fear of heights, for example?’
    • ‘Apart from health problems, it makes children superstitious and exposes them to morbid fears and phobias.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It accounts for most of our fears, even our likes and dislikes, and phobias.’
    • ‘Sharron developed several phobias including claustrophobia and a feeling of uncleanliness no matter how often she washed.’
    • ‘As for society, it needs to confront its petty phobias, paranoid fears and recognize the self in the other.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She and I share a lot of the same fears and phobias.’
    • ‘Benumbed fear often turns into panic, phobias, irrational prejudice, and violence.’
    • ‘A phobia is an irrational, uncontrollable fear of a specific object or situation.’
    abnormal fear, irrational fear, obsessive fear, fear, dread, horror, terror, dislike, hatred, loathing, detestation, distaste, aversion, antipathy, revulsion, repulsion
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Late 18th century: independent usage of -phobia.