phobia

[foh-bee-uh]
noun
a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

Origin:
1780–90; extracted from nouns ending in -phobia


aversion, hatred.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

-phobia

a combining form meaning “fear,” occurring in loanwords from Greek (hydrophobia ); on this model, used in the names of mental disorders that have the general sense “dread of, aversion toward” that specified by the initial element: agoraphobia.

Origin:
< Latin < Greek, equivalent to -phob(os) -phobe + -ia -ia

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
phobia (ˈfəʊbɪə)
 
n
psychiatry an abnormal intense and irrational fear of a given situation, organism, or object
 
[C19: from Greek phobos fear]

-phobia
 
n combining form
indicating an extreme abnormal fear of or aversion to: acrophobia; claustrophobia
 
[via Latin from Greek, from phobos fear]
 
-phobic
 
adj combining form

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

phobia
1786, "fear, horror, aversion," Mod.L., abstracted from compounds in -phobia, from Gk. -phobia, from phobos "fear," originally "flight" (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for "fear" via the notion of "panic, fright" (cf. phobein "put to flight, frighten"), from PIE base *bhegw-
"to run" (cf. Lith. begu "to flee," O.C.S. begu "flight," bezati "to flee, run," O.N. bekkr "a stream"). Psychological sense attested by 1895; phobic (adj.) is from 1897.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

phobia pho·bi·a (fō'bē-ə)
n.

  1. A persistent, abnormal, or irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid the feared stimulus.

  2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

-phobia suff.
An intense, abnormal, or illogical fear of a specified thing: claustrophobia.

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
phobia [(foh-bee-uh)]

An extreme and often unreasonable fear of some object, concept, situation, or person.

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
My phobia? I'm totally scared of bridges.
And nothing would do that more than my phobia for heights.
This appears to be a result of the idea-phobia prevalent on many campuses.
The nation has a serious case of food phobia.
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