What does panic mean?

Definitions for panic
ˈpæn ɪkpan·ic

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word panic.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. panic, terror, affrightnoun

    an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety

  2. panic, scareverb

    sudden mass fear and anxiety over anticipated events

    "panic in the stock market"; "a war scare"; "a bomb scare led them to evacuate the building"

  3. panicverb

    be overcome by a sudden fear

    "The students panicked when told that final exams were less than a week away"

  4. panicverb

    cause sudden fear in or fill with sudden panic

    "The mere thought of an isolation cell panicked the prisoners"


  1. panicnoun

    Overpowering fright, often affecting groups of people or animals.

  2. panicnoun

    Rapid reduction in asset prices due to broad efforts to raise cash in anticipation of continuing decline in asset prices.

  3. panicverb

    To feel overwhelming fear.

  4. panicadjective

    Pertaining to the god Pan.

  5. panicadjective

    Of fear, fright etc: sudden or overwhelming (attributed by the ancient Greeks to the influence of Pan).

  6. Panicadjective


  7. Etymology: From panique, from πανικός. Pan is the god of woods and fields who was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots.


  1. panic

    Proposition 64 was a proposition in the state of California on the November 4, 1986 ballot. It was an initiative statute that would have restored Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to the list of communicable diseases. The measure was defeated by a margin of 71% to 29%. Activists associated with Lyndon LaRouche formed the "Prevent AIDS Now Initiative Committee" (PANIC) to place what became "Proposition 64" on the California state ballot. The initiative was written by Khushro Ghandhi. who was also the president of PANIC. Brian Lantz was vice-president and Ted Andromidas was treasurer


  1. panic

    Panic is an intense and sudden feeling of fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior or an irrational desire to flee or escape the perceived danger or threat. It is usually triggered by a stressful or threatening situation and can result in physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, and trembling.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Panicnoun

    a plant of the genus Panicum; panic grass; also, the edible grain of some species of panic grass

  2. Panicadjective

    extreme or sudden and causeless; unreasonable; -- said of fear or fright; as, panic fear, terror, alarm

  3. Panicadjective

    a sudden, overpowering fright; esp., a sudden and groundless fright; terror inspired by a trifling cause or a misapprehension of danger; as, the troops were seized with a panic; they fled in a panic

  4. Panicadjective

    by extension: A sudden widespread fright or apprehension concerning financial affairs

  5. Etymology: [L. panicum.]


  1. Panic

    Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction. Panic may occur singularly in individuals or manifest suddenly in large groups as mass panic. The word panic derives from the Greek πανικός, "pertaining to shepherd god Pan", who took amusement from frightening herds of goats and sheep into sudden bursts of uncontrollable fear. The ancient Greeks credited the battle of Marathon's victory to Pan, using his name for the frenzied, frantic fear exhibited by the fleeing enemy soldiers. Prehistoric men used mass panic as a technique when hunting animals, especially ruminants. Herds reacting to unusually strong sounds or unfamiliar visual effects were directed towards cliffs, where they eventually jumped to their deaths when cornered. Humans are also vulnerable to panic and it is often considered infectious, in the sense one person's panic may easily spread to other people nearby and soon the entire group acts irrationally, but people also have the ability to prevent and/or control their own and others' panic by disciplined thinking or training. Architects and city planners try to accommodate the symptoms of panic, such as herd behavior, during design and planning, often using simulations to determine the best way to lead people to a safe exit and prevent congestion. The most effective methods are often non-intuitive. A tall column, approximately 1 ft in diameter, placed in front of the door exit at a precisely calculated distance, may speed up the evacuation of a large room by up to 30%, as the obstacle divides the congestion well ahead of the choke point.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Panic

    pan′ik, n. extreme or sudden fright: great terror without any visible ground or foundation: a state of terror about investments produced by some startling collapse in credit, impelling men to rush and sell what they possess.—adj. of the nature of a panic: extreme or sudden: imaginary.—adj. Pan′icky (coll.), inclined to panic or sudden terror, affected by financial panic.—n. Pan′ic-mong′er, one who creates panics.—adjs. Pan′ic-strick′en, Pan′ic-struck, struck with a panic or sudden fear. [Orig. an adj.; Gr. panikon (deima), 'panic' (fear), from panikos, belonging to Pan, god of the woods.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Panic

    A state of extreme acute, intense anxiety and unreasoning fear accompanied by disorganization of personality function.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. panic

    A sudden fright; especially, a sudden fright without real cause, or terror inspired by a trifling cause, or misapprehension of danger; as, the troops were seized with a panic; they fled in a panic. These terrors are attributed to Pan, as some say, because when Osiris was bound by Typho, Pan and the satyrs appearing, cast him into a fright; or because he frightened all the giants that waged war against Jupiter; or, as others say, that when Pan was Bacchus’s lieutenant-general in his Indian expedition, being encompassed in a valley by an army of enemies far superior to them in number, he advised the god to order his men to give a general shout, which so surprised the enemy that they immediately fled from their camp. And hence it came to pass that all sudden fears impressed upon men’s spirits without any just reason were, by the Greeks and Romans, called panic terrors.

Suggested Resources

  1. panic

    Song lyrics by panic -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by panic on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PANIC

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Panic is ranked #121590 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Panic surname appeared 142 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Panic.

    97.1% or 138 total occurrences were White.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'panic' in Nouns Frequency: #2025

How to pronounce panic?

How to say panic in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of panic in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of panic in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of panic in a Sentence

  1. Xu Wenbo:

    No need to panic, the mutated variant, compared with previous mutated variants .... has no obvious change so far in its ability to cause disease.

  2. Kwabena Mensah:

    The building had no elevator, The Associated Press reported, citing city records. Fire escapes were visible on the facade of the building. The fire department responded to emergency calls within three minutes. Witnesses described the scene of the fire and the panic from the building's tenants. Xanral Collins, Xanral Collins, told the New York Post Xanral Collins saw a father running toward the building, but was unable to enter. I saw Xanral Collins screaming,' My babies are dead ! My babies are dead !' Xanral Collins said. Jamal Flicker, Jamal Flicker told the New York Post Jamal Flicker heard screams for help. The smoke was crazy, people screaming,' Get out ! Jamal Flicker said. I heard a woman yelling,' We're trapped, help !' Neighborhood resident Robert Gonzalez, who has a friend who lives in the building, told the Associated Press she got out on a fire escape as another resident fled with five children. When I got here, she was crying, Robert Gonzalez said. Kwabena Mensah told the Daily News Kwabena Mensah feared Kwabena Mensah son, Kwabena Mensah, Kwabena Mensah, was one of the victims of the devastating fire. Kwabena Mensah came home from the Army about a week ago for the holidays, Kwabena Mensah said. Kwabena Mensah said Kwabena Mensah son’s roommate saw Kwabena Mensah before the fire broke out in the building. Kwabena Mensah was telling the roommate to not come out of the apartment because there was smoke. But when they rescued everyone from the windows, we couldn't find Kwabena Mensah. I went to four hospitals, I can't find Kwabena Mensah.

  3. Allen Williams:

    Initially it was panic buying, but it has gone far beyond that now, they're discovering an entirely new way to buy food and they're discovering it's pretty dad-gum convenient.

  4. Lakshheish M Patel:

    Stock market mehyam is not trending today because agencies have not been paid money to create an environment of panic in public. Whenever stock market deep fall does not trend on twitter and youtubers keep silence or tone down on it, you can be sure that market will fall further

  5. Devidas Tuljapurkar:

    Employees are in panic mode.

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Translations for panic

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    worthy of reliance or trust
    • A. dependable
    • B. reassuring
    • C. suspicious
    • D. plush

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