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Pronunciation: nu-ro'sis, -sez


  1. A psychological or behavioral disorder in which anxiety is the primary characteristic; defense mechanisms or any phobias are the adjustive techniques that a person learns to cope with this underlying anxiety. In contrast to the psychoses, people with a neurosis do not exhibit gross distortion of reality or gross disorganization of personality but in severe cases, those affected may be as disabled as those with a psychosis.
  2. A functional nervous disease, or one in which there is no evident lesion.
  3. A peculiar state of tension or irritability of the nervous system; any form of nervousness.

Synonym(s): neurotic disorder

[neuro- + G. -osis, condition]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.