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[noo-roh-sis, nyoo-] /nʊˈroʊ sɪs, nyʊ-/
noun, plural neuroses
[noo-roh-seez, nyoo-] /nʊˈroʊ siz, nyʊ-/ (Show IPA).
Also called psychoneurosis. a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality.
a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment.
Origin of neurosis
1770-80; < New Latin; see neur-, -osis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for neuroses
  • Neither the war neuroses nor the traumatic neuroses of peace are as yet fully understood.
  • But that is due to the relation which the phenomena of the dream have to those of the neuroses.
  • It was one of the rare areas where his neuroses interfered with his instinct for programming.
  • The first is that it reflects the realities and neuroses of increasing ethnic diversity.
  • He found his compatriots' post-imperial neuroses a tempting target for his jokes.
  • If you've ever been in therapy, you've no doubt wondered what personal neuroses your shrink is battling outside the office.
  • Their stories finally mesh at a lavish housewarming party at which collective neuroses and lies are exposed.
  • The ideals of masculine comradeship are exaggerated and transformed into neuroses.
  • Psychopaths don't exhibit the manias, hysterias, and neuroses that are present in other types of mental illness.
  • However for the treatment of other neuroses and the personality disorders, a patient oriented psychotherapy is required.
British Dictionary definitions for neuroses


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
a relatively mild mental disorder, characterized by symptoms such as hysteria, anxiety, depression, or obsessive behaviour Also called psychoneurosis
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 neuroses



1776, "functional derangement arising from disorders of the nervous system," coined by Scottish physician William Cullen (1710-1790) from Greek neuron "nerve" (see neuro-) + Modern Latin -osis "abnormal condition." Used in a general psychological sense since 1871; clinical use in psychiatry dates from 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neuroses in Medicine

neurosis neu·ro·sis (nu-rō'sĭs, nyu-)
n. pl. neu·ro·ses (-sēz)

  1. Any of various mental or emotional disorders involving symptoms such as insecurity, anxiety, depression, and irrational fears.

  2. Tension or irritability of the nervous system; nervousness.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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neuroses in Science
A psychological state characterized by excessive anxiety or insecurity without evidence of neurologic or other organic disease, sometimes accompanied by defensive or immature behaviors. This term is no longer used in psychiatric diagnosis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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neuroses in Culture
neurosis [(noo-roh-sis, nyoo-roh-sis)]

A mental disorder marked by anxiety or fear. Neurosis is less severe than psychosis. (See also angst, hysteria, and phobia.)

Note: In popular usage, a “neurotic” is anyone who worries a lot.
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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