Main definitions of panic in US English:

: panic1panic2

panic1

noun

  • 1Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.

    ‘she hit him in panic’
    in singular ‘he ran to the library in a blind panic’
    • ‘Chabon's local neighborhood becomes a site of panic, and people fear that which is not immediately recognizable.’
    • ‘If we expressed symptoms of panic and fear the diagnosis was clear.’
    • ‘The first chapter defines anxiety and the related constructs of worry, fear, and panic, and then goes on to discuss social anxiety in detail.’
    • ‘Tommy moved up to the item she'd thrown up on stage, and sudden panic hit his face.’
    • ‘Indeed, closely aligned and overlapping neurochemical circuits may underlie separation anxiety and panic.’
    • ‘Anxiety symptoms were also high, with 64% reporting symptoms of fear, panic or anxiety.’
    • ‘In my panic and fear, I could not remember where the dock was.’
    • ‘But it is far more likely that you would be affected by fear and panic than a terrorist weapon.’
    • ‘The resulting fear, panic and sheer terror of that evening, Tim postulated, was so great that a special bond remains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So now here I am, full of fear and panic and anxiety once again.’
    • ‘I keep getting waves of panic and anxiety today, I just can't seem to get it together.’
    • ‘Mere emotions, fear distress or panic, will not suffice.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I felt the salt water in my throat, the fear, panic, and dread.’
    • ‘Their cameras witnessed death, dense panic and ashen fear.’
    • ‘For other survivors, grief is mixed with panic and fear.’
    • ‘Health professionals and ministers are concerned about spreading panic and fear too many warnings might make the population complacent.’
    • ‘He struggled wildly, his eyes dark with panic and fear.’
    • ‘Deaths and injuries sustained by ordinary people increase panic, fear, and pessimistic sentiments tenfold.’
    alarm, anxiety, nervousness, fear, fright, trepidation, dread, terror, horror, agitation, hysteria, consternation, perturbation, dismay, disquiet, apprehension, apprehensiveness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Widespread financial or commercial apprehension provoking hasty action.
      ‘he caused an economic panic by his sudden resignation’
      as modifier ‘panic selling’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maybe the false story will set off a financial panic.’
      • ‘Some, on the other hand, were relatively capable business people brought down by the financial panics and depression of the late 1830s.’
      • ‘More importantly, the developing world has little to fear from sudden panic on Wall Street.’
      • ‘He works on banking, financial distress, and financial panics.’
      • ‘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 Fed was created to do two things: dampen the business cycle and keep financial panics from spreading to the real economy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This suspension was unprecedented in that it was not preceded by a financial panic or a sudden demand for coin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bankruptcy laws originated in the 19th century, when a series of devastating financial panics caused many railroads to fail.’
      • ‘Which is not to say that playing by the rules always avoided chaos in the form of wild speculation, financial panics, and deep depressions.’
      • ‘This created a panic across central Europe, as investors rushed to the banks to retrieve their own investments before these were frozen too.’
      • ‘Unlike more transitory fads and fashions, however, financial manias and panics have real and lasting economic consequences.’
      • ‘But not half as scary as the international financial panics which this book believes to be the defining characteristic of modern global capitalism.’
      • ‘Still, U.S. financial markets were relatively undeveloped and subject to periodic panics and financial crises.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before 11 September, there was already a tendency for financial and business panics to develop at any sign of difficulty.’
      • ‘Another is his attempt to detect whether the financial panics had any real effects.’
    2. 1.2informal A frenzied hurry to do something.
      ‘a workload of constant panics and rush jobs’
      • ‘There was a panic, a rush to get as many people on board the escape ships as possible.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘It used to be that they rushed around in a last-minute panic clutching a wad of notes,’ she said.’
      • ‘The village went into an uproarious panic as people scattered everywhere in confusion and fear.’
      • ‘Betrand added that the fear of shortage prompted panic as some buyers purchased more cement than they usually purchased.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think people enjoy that frenzied panic of preparing for impending danger.’
      • ‘Despite the plan, officials and the haulage industry are keen to talk down the prospect of fuel protests for fear of sparking panic.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It always starts near Kensington plaza, where people have abandoned their bags of groceries to rush home in a panic.’

verb

  • Feel or cause to feel panic.

    no object ‘the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit’
    with object ‘talk of love panicked her’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, it's another scare, but it's something that we should not panic about.’
    • ‘Saleem claimed he had failed to report the accident because he panicked and was scared he would be attacked if he stayed.’
    • ‘Terrified and panicking, he tried to kick in a glass door to escape his pursuers and, in doing so, fatally lacerated himself.’
    • ‘I didn't panic, freak out or do any silly praying stuff.’
    • ‘The crowd panicked and some jumped into a well to be crushed by those jumping after them.’
    • ‘People panicked and stampeded, blows rained down, people fell and hurt themselves in the melee.’
    • ‘He said the people seemed to panic more when the fire alarm went off.’
    • ‘Up until now, there's been no cause to panic because living was always cheap here.’
    • ‘Everyone around began to panic at the sight and began to whisper and talk about what was going on.’
    • ‘With the proper preparation, and if you don't panic, a positive outcome is nearly always possible.’
    • ‘We didn't have a telephone and, horrified at the sight of blood, I ran into the street panicking.’
    • ‘This is not always the case and there is no point in panicking.’
    • ‘It was crowded and I started panicking and feeling faint.’
    • ‘But with the end in sight, he panicked again and gave his opponent another chance in the fourth set.’
    • ‘I began to panic, terrified that the car would burst into flames and I wouldn't be able to escape.’
    • ‘Oh, to be sure, there are always folks who panic, or loot.’
    • ‘He starts to panic like he always seems to do around me.’
    • ‘I have an uncle in Washington; around him everyone was frightened, people were panicking.’
    • ‘A contemporary newspaper account told of passers-by panicking at the sight of the topper.’
    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

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

/ˈpanik//ˈpænɪk/

Main definitions of panic in US English:

: panic1panic2

panic2

(also panic grass)

noun

  • Any of a number of cereal and fodder grasses related to millet.

    Panicum and related genera, family Gramineae

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two of the most common, but functionally indeterminate, grass grains regularly identified from American Bottom sites are panic grass (Panicum sp.) and beardgrass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

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

/ˈpanik//ˈpænɪk/