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anxious

[angk-shuh s, ang-] /ˈæŋk ʃəs, ˈæŋ-/
adjective
1.
full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous:
Her parents were anxious about her poor health.
2.
earnestly desirous; eager (usually followed by an infinitive or for):
anxious to please; anxious for our happiness.
3.
attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness:
anxious forebodings.
Origin of anxious
1615-1625
1615-25; < Latin anxius worried, distressed, derivative of angere to strangle, pain, distress; cf. anguish, -ous
Related forms
anxiously, adverb
anxiousness, noun
quasi-anxious, adjective
quasi-anxiously, adverb
unanxious, adjective
unanxiously, adverb
unanxiousness, noun
Synonyms
1. concerned, disturbed, apprehensive, fearful, uneasy.
Antonyms
1. calm, confident. 2. reluctant, hesitant.
Usage note
The earliest sense of anxious (in the 17th century) was “troubled” or “worried”: We are still anxious for the safety of our dear sons in battle. Its meaning “earnestly desirous, eager” arose in the mid-18th century: We are anxious to see our new grandson. Some insist that anxious must always convey a sense of distress or worry and object to its use in the sense of “eager,” but such use is fully standard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anxiousness
Historical Examples
  • Was it to speak of his anxiousness as to the state of her father's health that he had led her there, and that he held her hand?

  • One day he was seized with anxiousness for his soul's future.

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • What anxiousness when any danger threatens the hero, be he king's son or a wheat-straw!

  • By another spring the aching and anxiousness were a little dulled, for habit blunts even the keen edge of mortal pain.

  • But his father's anxiousness would be greater than his own could be.

    The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • And the anxiousness of her spirits directed her eyes towards his figure so repeatedly, as to catch Miss Tilney's notice.

    Northanger Abbey Jane Austen
  • A slight shade of anxiousness showed itself in her eyes, and Betty sat down by her and took her hand.

    The Shuttle Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Each of the three faces was pale enough; but Pamela had the trouble of these two, as well as her own anxiousness in her eyes.

    Theo Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • And the anxiousness of the combat and the battle came upon him.

  • To be happy is a cause of anxiousness to me; he said, I would like to live long in this house.

British Dictionary definitions for anxiousness

anxious

/ˈæŋkʃəs; ˈæŋʃəs/
adjective
1.
worried and tense because of possible misfortune, danger, etc; uneasy
2.
fraught with or causing anxiety; worrying; distressing: an anxious time
3.
intensely desirous; eager: anxious for promotion
Derived Forms
anxiously, adverb
anxiousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin anxius; related to Latin angere to torment; see anger, anguish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anxiousness

anxious

adj.

1620s, from Latin anxius "solicitous, uneasy, troubled in mind" (also "causing anxiety, troublesome"), from angere, anguere "choke, squeeze," figuratively "torment, cause distress" (see anger (v.)). The same image is in Serbo-Croatian tjeskoba "anxiety," literally "tightness, narrowness." Related: Anxiously; anxiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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