American English

Definition of anxious adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1feeling worried or nervous anxious (about something) He seemed anxious about the meeting. anxious (for somebody) Parents are naturally anxious for their children. Thesaurusworriedconcerned nervous anxious uneasyThese words all describe feeling unhappy and afraid because you are thinking about unpleasant things that might happen or might have happened.worried thinking about unpleasant things that might happen or might have happened and therefore feeling unhappy and afraidconcerned worried and feeling concern about somethingworried or concerned?Concerned is usually used when you are talking about a problem that affects another person, society, the world, etc., while worried can be used for this or for more personal matters.nervous feeling worried about something or slightly afraid of somethinganxious feeling worried or nervous about somethingworried, nervous, or anxious?Worried is the most frequent word to describe how you feel when you are thinking about a problem or something bad that might happen. Anxious can describe a stronger feeling and is more formal. Nervous is more often used to describe how you feel before you do something very important such as an exam or an interview, or something unpleasant or difficult. Nervous can describe someone's personality:a very nervous manis often or usually nervous;a worried manis worried on a particular occasion or about a particular thing. Worried describes his feelings, not his personality. Anxious may describe feelings or personality.uneasy feeling worried or unhappy about a particular situation, especially because you think something bad may happen or because you are not sure that what you are doing is rightPatterns worried/concerned/nervous/anxious/uneasy about (doing) something worried/concerned/anxious for somebody/something worried/concerned/nervous/anxious that… a(n) worried/concerned/nervous/anxious/uneasy expression/look/smile to get worried/nervous/anxious
  2. 2causing anxiety; showing anxiety There were a few anxious moments in the game. an anxious look/face/expression
  3. 3wanting something very much anxious to do something She was anxious to finish school and get a job. He was anxious not to be misunderstood. anxious for something There are plenty of graduates anxious for work. anxious for somebody to do something I'm anxious for her to do as little as possible. anxious that… She was anxious that he might meet her father.
anxiously adverb
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to ask/look/wait anxiously Residents are anxiously awaiting a decision.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: anxious