paranoia

[par-uh-noi-uh]
noun
1.
Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission.
2.
baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.
Also, paranoea [par-uh-nee-uh] .


Origin:
1805–15; < Neo-Latin < Greek paránoia madness. See para-, nous, -ia

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World English Dictionary
paranoia (ˌpærəˈnɔɪə)
 
n
1.  a form of schizophrenia characterized by a slowly progressive deterioration of the personality, involving delusions and often hallucinations
2.  a mental disorder characterized by any of several types of delusions, in which the personality otherwise remains relatively intact
3.  informal intense fear or suspicion, esp when unfounded
 
[C19: via New Latin from Greek: frenzy, from paranoos distraught, from para-1 + noos mind]
 
paranoiac
 
adj, —n
 
paranoic
 
adj, —n

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

paranoia
"mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions," 1891 (earlier paranoea 1811), from Gk. paranoia "mental derangement, madness," from paranoos "mentally ill, insane," from para- "beside, beyond" + noos "mind."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

paranoia par·a·noi·a (pār'ə-noi'ə)
n.

  1. A psychotic disorder characterized by systematized delusions, especially of persecution or grandeur, in the absence of other personality disorders.

  2. Extreme, irrational distrust of others.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
paranoia [(par-uh-noy-uh)]

A form of psychosis marked by delusions of persecution and of grandeur. One who suffers from paranoia is paranoid.

Note: In popular terminology, a “paranoid” personality is characterized by suspicion and distrust of others; a tendency to look for hidden meaning behind other people's actions; argumentativeness; complaining; low tolerance for criticism; and a constant display of one's own talents, accomplishments, independence, and rationality.
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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Example sentences
But he insists that he doesn't seriously advocate total paranoia, just a little
  common sense.
His paranoia was in high gear.
Part of the downside of sustained use is paranoia and aggressiveness.
In a business where joke-stealing paranoia abounds, the camaraderie is unusual.
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