1A relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality. Compare with psychosis.
mental illness, mental disorder, psychological disorder, mental disturbance, mental derangement, mental instability, psychological maladjustment, psychoneurosis, psychopathyobsession, phobia, fixationneuroticismView synonyms
- ‘The Home Office has found that 90 per cent of prisoners suffer at least one of five mental disorders: psychosis, severe neurosis, drug dependency, alcoholism or personality disorders.’
- ‘These substitutions are sometimes viewed as part of a neurosis or psychosis.’
- ‘Borderline Personality Disorder was described only 30 years ago and it was so named because it was thought to be at the border between psychosis and neurosis.’
- ‘Freud presented the world of phantasy as a ‘storehouse’ that the patient can draw on to feed both his neurosis and his psychosis.’
- ‘There are other conditions which may cause a malfunctioning of the mind which, while they may have an organic cause, are not neuroses or psychoses, for example, epilepsy or hyperglycaemia arising from diabetes.’
- 1.1(in nontechnical use) excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession.‘apprehension over mounting debt has created a collective neurosis in the business world’
- ‘OK, so I'm a quivering bundle of irrational neuroses, but that's not the point.’
- ‘Why not write a book in praise of the obsession, celebrating the neurosis at the heart of all literature?’
- ‘It's a hefty task, seeing as each of her children is manoeuvring their way through a litany of oddball obsessions and neuroses.’
- ‘So what made this scene so powerfully articulate ‘collective neuroses and fears’?’
- ‘We need a disposal service for our collective neuroses, something to clear away the rubbish of our self-regard and pomposity.’
Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from neuro- of nerves + -osis.