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[ak-ruh-foh-bee-uh] /ˌæk rəˈfoʊ bi ə/
a pathological fear of heights.
1890-95; < New Latin; see acro-, -phobia
Related forms
acrophobic, adjective, noun
Can be confused
acrophobia, agoraphobia, claustrophobia. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acrophobia
  • It isn't acrophobia or a terror of falling that spooks me so much as the idea of being confined without my express consent.
  • acrophobia causes the driver to go slowly and insist on running the air conditioner with the windows up.
  • To say this has put a strain on his golf game would be akin to saying that a pilot could be hampered by acrophobia.
British Dictionary definitions for acrophobia


abnormal fear or dread of being at a great height
Derived Forms
acrophobic, adjective, noun
Word Origin
C19: from acro- + -phobia
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 acrophobia

"morbid fear of heights," 1887, medical Latin, from Greek akros "at the end, the top" (see acrid) + -phobia "fear." Coined by Italian physician Dr. Andrea Verga in a paper describing the condition, from which Verga himself suffered.

In this paper, read somewhat over a year ago at the congress of alienists at Pavia, the author makes confession of his own extreme dread of high places. Though fearless of the contagion of cholera, he has palpitations on mounting a step-ladder, finds it unpleasant to ride on the top of a coach or to look out of even a first-story window, and has never used an elevator. ["American Journal of Psychology," Nov. 1888, abstract of Verga's report]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acrophobia in Medicine

acrophobia ac·ro·pho·bi·a (āk'rə-fō'bē-ə)
An abnormal fear of heights.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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acrophobia in Culture
acrophobia [(ak-ruh-foh-bee-uh)]

An abnormal fear of heights.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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