worried sick

Idioms & Phrases

worried sick

Also, worried to death. Extremely anxious, as in Her parents were worried sick when she didn't come home all night, or We've been worried to death about the drop in the stock market. These somewhat hyperbolic phrases (one could conceivably feel ill from worrying but would hardly die from it) date from the second half of the 1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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