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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: ang-zī′ĕ-tē


  1. Experience of fear or apprehension in response to anticipated internal or external danger accompanied by some or all of the following signs: muscle tension, restlessness, sympathetic (automonic) hyperactivity (diarrhea, palpitation, rapid breathing or jitteriness), or cognitive signs and symptoms (hypervigilance, confusion, decreased concentration, or fear of losing control). It may be transient and adaptive or pathologic in intensity and duration.
  2. In experimental psychology, a drive or motivational state learned from and thereafter associated with previously neutral cues.

[L. anxietas, anxiety, fr. anxius, distressed, fr. ango, to press tight, to torment]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.