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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
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. 2014.
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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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