anxious
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈaŋ(k)ʃəs/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈæŋ(k).ʃəs/
Adjective

anxious

  1. Nervous and worried.
  2. Full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, especially respecting something future or unknown.
    She was anxious to hear how her test results were.
    I could tell she was anxious as she was biting her nails.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0056 ↗:
      Thanks to that penny he had just spent so recklessly [on a newspaper] he would pass a happy hour, taken, for once, out of his anxious, despondent, miserable self. It irritated him shrewdly to know that these moments of respite from carking care would not be shared with his poor wife, with careworn, troubled Ellen.
  3. (of things) Accompanied with, or causing, anxiety; worrying.
    anxious labor
    There was an anxious wait before the results were revealed.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VIII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      The sweet of life, from which God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares.
  4. Earnestly desirous.
    He is anxious to please, so you can count on him.
    All the voters were anxious to hear the election result.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 2, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
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