Definition of anxious adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈæŋkʃəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈæŋkʃəs//
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  1. 1  feeling worried or nervous anxious (about something) He seemed anxious about the meeting. anxious (for somebody) Parents are naturally anxious for their children. Synonymsworriedconcerned 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 somebody’s personality: a very nervous girl is often or usually nervous; a worried girl is worried on a particular occasion or about a particular thing. Worried describes her feelings, not her 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 See related entries: Nervous
  2. 2  causing anxiety; showing anxiety There were a few anxious moments in the baseball game. an anxious look/face/expression
  3. 3  wanting 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 should meet her father.
  4. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Latin anxius (from angere ‘to choke’) + -ous.Extra examples I’m becoming very anxious about my son. She was watching the clock and becoming increasingly anxious. Students are understandably anxious about getting work after graduation. The bus was late and Sue began to get anxious. The delays only made him more anxious. There’s no need to get unduly anxious on my account. We are extremely anxious for her safety. He grew increasingly anxious as time went on. He seemed anxious to return to more familiar ground. He was anxious to finish school and get a job. I’m anxious for her to do as little as possible. She was anxious to put the past behind her/​set the record straight/​get the whole thing over with. There was an anxious expression on her face. There were a few anxious moments during the game.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: anxious