Definition of agoraphobia in English:



  • Extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places.

    • ‘Jane, from Heworth, is convinced it was the shock of her illness which brought on her phobia - a strange mixture of claustrophobia, agoraphobia, and social phobia.’
    • ‘While some - such as agoraphobia, fear of crowds and open spaces - can seriously restrict the way hundreds of people live their lives, others are more unusual.’
    • ‘When people's lives become so restricted by the disorder, as happens in about one-third of all people with panic disorder, the condition is called agoraphobia.’
    • ‘This avoidance may eventually develop into agoraphobia, an inability to go beyond known and safe surroundings because of intense fear and anxiety.’
    • ‘Some people have an extreme fear condition called agoraphobia, and confine themselves to the home or other familiar places where they feel relatively safe.’
    • ‘I've seen clients who suffered for years with nameless agony, only to read an article about agoraphobia or panic disorder in a popular magazine.’
    • ‘And agoraphobia, which often accompanies panic disorder, is a fear of being in any situation that might provoke a panic attack, or from which escape might be difficult if one occurred.’
    • ‘In addition, the person may develop irrational fears called phobias, such as agoraphobia, about situations where a panic attack has occurred.’
    • ‘These include agoraphobia, the opposite of claustrophobia, when sufferers fear public situations from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing or where help will not be at hand in the event of a panic attack.’
    • ‘As well as being a fear of open spaces, agoraphobia is also a fear of being in a crowd, being alone in a house and travelling alone.’
    • ‘Many have also developed the mental disorder agoraphobia, a fear of open or public places, the study by Columbia University found.’
    • ‘Another type of agoraphobia is driving phobia - the fear of being trapped in heavy traffic.’
    • ‘But doctors say it is one of the more common forms of agoraphobia, a disorder characterized by a fear of open spaces.’
    • ‘As a result, patients may become reluctant to go outside the home alone or into public places - behaviors associated with agoraphobia.’
    • ‘From the 1970s Chris had gradually developed a debilitating case of agoraphobia and depression, and he got to the point, he says, where he couldn't leave the house - and if he did, he experienced panic attacks.’
    • ‘The involvement of partners has also emerged as essential in the treatment of alcoholism and drug dependence, and it is found to improve the outcome of treatment of agoraphobia and manic-depression.’
    • ‘Unchecked, the disorder often sets in motion a debilitating psychological sequel syndrome of agoraphobia, avoiding public places.’
    • ‘About twice as many women as men are said to have panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobia.’
    • ‘Until recently agoraphobia was defined as a fear of open spaces.’
    • ‘These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and agoraphobia, the fear of open spaces.’


Late 19th century: from Greek agora place of assembly, marketplace + -phobia.