What does worry mean?

Definitions for worry
ˈwɜr i, ˈwʌr iwor·ry

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. concern, worry, headache, vexationnoun

    something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness

    "New York traffic is a constant concern"; "it's a major worry"

  2. worry, troubleverb

    a strong feeling of anxiety

    "his worry over the prospect of being fired"; "it is not work but worry that kills"; "he wanted to die and end his troubles"

  3. worryverb

    be worried, concerned, anxious, troubled, or uneasy

    "I worry about my job"

  4. worry, careverb

    be concerned with

    "I worry about my grades"

  5. worry, vexverb

    disturb the peace of mind of; afflict with mental agitation or distress

    "I cannot sleep--my daughter's health is worrying me"

  6. concern, interest, occupy, worryverb

    be on the mind of

    "I worry about the second Germanic consonant shift"

  7. worryverb

    lacerate by biting

    "the dog worried his bone"

  8. worryverb

    touch or rub constantly

    "The old man worried his beads"


  1. worrynoun

    A strong feeling of anxiety.

    I'm afflicted by worry throughout the night.

  2. worrynoun

    An instance or cause of such a feeling.

    My main worry is that I'll miss the train.

  3. worryverb

    To seize or shake by the throat, especially of a dog or wolf.

    Your dog's been worrying sheep again.

  4. worryverb

    To harass; to irritate or distress.

    The President was worried into military action by persistent advisors.

  5. worryverb

    Disturb the peace of mind of; afflict with mental agitation or distress.

    Your tone of voice worries me.

  6. worryverb

    To be troubled, to give way to mental anxiety.

    Stop worrying about your test, it'll be fine.

  7. worryverb

    To strangle.

  8. Etymology: wyrġan. Cognate with German würgen ‘strangle’.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Worryverb

    Etymology: worigen , Saxon: whence probably the word warray.

    If we with thrice such powers left at home,
    Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
    Let us be worried. William Shakespeare, Hen. V.

    The fury of the tumults might fly so high as to worry and tear those in pieces, whom as yet they but play’d with in their paws. Charles I .

    ’Tis no new thing for the dogs that are to keep the wolves from worrying the sheep, to be deliver’d up to the enemy, for fear the sheep should worry the wolves. Roger L'Estrange.

    This revives and imitates that inhuman barbarity of the old heathen persecutors, wrapping up christians in the skins of wild beasts, that so they might be worried and torn in pieces by dogs. Robert South, Sermons.

    Then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter with clipping her. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    For want of words, or lack of breath,
    Witness when I was worried with thy peals. John Milton.

    It has pleased Providence at length to give us righteousness instead of exaction, and hopes of religion to a church worried with reformation. Robert South, Sermons.

    All his care
    Was to preserve me from the barbarous rage,
    Which worried him only for being mine. Thomas Southerne.

    I shall not suffer him to worry any man’s reputation, nor indeed fall on any person whatsoever. Addison.

    Let them rail,
    And then worry one another at their pleasure. Nicholas Rowe.

    Madam, contrive and invent,
    And worry him out, ’till he gives his consent. Jonathan Swift.


  1. worry

    Worry can be defined as a state of anxiety or unease caused by concerns, uncertainties, or problems, often accompanied by repetitive negative thoughts and excessive mental distress. It involves the act of dwelling on potential future events or circumstances that may bring harm, fear, or discomfort, and can manifest physically, emotionally, or cognitively.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Worryverb

    to harass by pursuit and barking; to attack repeatedly; also, to tear or mangle with the teeth

  2. Worryverb

    to harass or beset with importunity, or with care an anxiety; to vex; to annoy; to torment; to tease; to fret; to trouble; to plague

  3. Worryverb

    to harass with labor; to fatigue

  4. Worryverb

    to feel or express undue care and anxiety; to manifest disquietude or pain; to be fretful; to chafe; as, the child worries; the horse worries

  5. Worrynoun

    a state of undue solicitude; a state of disturbance from care and anxiety; vexation; anxiety; fret; as, to be in a worry

  6. Etymology: [OE. worowen, wirien, to strangle, AS. wyrgan in wyrgan; akin to D. worgen, wurgen, to strangle, OHG. wurgen, G. wrgen, Lith. verszti, and perhaps to E. wring.]


  1. Worry

    Worry is thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made to avoid anticipated potential threats. As an emotion it is experienced as anxiety or concern about a real or imagined issue, usually personal issues such as health or finances or broader ones such as environmental pollution and social or technological change. Most people experience short-lived periods of worry in their lives without incident; indeed, a moderate amount of worrying may even have positive effects, if it prompts people to take precautions or avoid risky behaviours. Excessive worry is the main component of generalized anxiety disorder.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Worry

    wur′i, v.t. to tear with the teeth: to harass: to tease: (Scot.) to choke.—v.i. to trouble one's self: to be unduly anxious: to fret:—pa.t. and pa.p. worr′ied.n. act of worrying: trouble, perplexity, vexation.—ns. Worr′ier, one who worries himself or others; Worr′iment (coll.), anxiety.—adj. Worr′isome, causing trouble.—v. Worr′it (slang), to worry.—n. (slang) annoyance.—adj. Worr′ying, harassing.—adv. Worr′yingly.—Worry down, to swallow with a strong effort. [A.S. wyrgan, found in compound áwyrgan, to harm; cf. Dut. worgen, Ger. würgen, to choke; A.S. wearg, werg, a wolf.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. worry

    Ironic nurse to old bedridden Dame Care. _E. g._, "I should worry"--famous saying of the Infinite Nix at twelve o'clock Saturday night of the Sixth Day as he threw down his tools and sent the Earth about its business.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. WORRY

    A state of mind that leads some persons to fear, every time the tide goes out, that it won't come in again.

Suggested Resources

  1. worry

    Quotes by worry -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by worry on the Quotes.net website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'worry' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2652

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'worry' in Written Corpus Frequency: #856

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'worry' in Nouns Frequency: #1916

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'worry' in Verbs Frequency: #335

How to pronounce worry?

How to say worry in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of worry in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of worry in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of worry in a Sentence

  1. Craig Mitnick:

    There is no need to worry. Because if something can be changed there is no need to worry and if something can't be changed there is no need to worry. Worrying is a useless waste of energy.

  2. Donald Trump:

    Don’t worry about it. I love babies. I hear that baby crying, I like it, what a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like—don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want.

  3. Mike Godwin:

    I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she's too young to have logged on yet. Here's what I worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say 'Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from the Internet'

  4. John Kasich:

    I worry about America. For the first time in my lifetime, I'm worried about us, i'm worried about how our values to some degree have been eroded, of personal responsibility and compassion and teamwork. I worry about it, I worry about the fact that we're so divided.

  5. Robert Frost:

    More men die of worry than of work, because more men worry than work.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for worry

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • قلقArabic
  • amoinar-se, angoixa, preocupar-se, preocupació, preocupar, amoinarCatalan, Valencian
  • starost, znepokojovat, dělat starostiCzech
  • пєштиOld Church Slavonic, Church Slavonic, Old Bulgarian
  • pryderWelsh
  • Sorge, besorgen, besorgt, sich Sorgen machenGerman
  • dzitsitsi, tsi dziEwe
  • ανησυχία, ανησυχώ, έγνοια, έννοιαGreek
  • ĉagreni, ĉagreniĝi, ĉagreno, zorgo, zorgiEsperanto
  • preocupación, preocupar, estar preocupado, zozobra, inquietar, inquietarse, preocuparseSpanish
  • tehdä, harmi, huolia, huolestuttaa, huolestunut, huoli, huolehtia, ärsyttääFinnish
  • souci, angoisse, harceler, inquiéter, s'inquiéterFrench
  • cuir dragh air, iomagainScottish Gaelic
  • הדאיג, דאגה, דאגHebrew
  • aggodalom, aggódikHungarian
  • disturbare, preoccupazione, preoccuparsiItalian
  • לדאוגHebrew
  • 噛む, 振り回す, せがむ, 困らす, 気にする, 心配, じらす, 悩ますJapanese
  • 근심, 걱정, 걱정하다Korean
  • ترساندن, ترسKurdish
  • sollicitorLatin
  • SuergLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • гри́жа, га́јлеMacedonian
  • risau, ريساو, بيمبڠ, رونسيڠ, bimbang, runsingMalay
  • ပူBurmese
  • bezorgd, zorgenDutch
  • uroeNorwegian
  • tʼáadoo leʼé iʼdiiłʼá, yínííł naʼadáNavajo, Navaho
  • zmartwieniePolish
  • preocupação, preocupar, preocupar-sePortuguese
  • grijăRomanian
  • забо́та, волне́ние, волнова́ться, беспоко́йство, трево́га, беспоко́иться, пережива́тьRussian
  • давити, гушити, бринути, brinuti, daviti, gušitiSerbo-Croatian
  • sätta tänderna i, trakassera, ängslan, hetsa, ansätta, oroa, oroa sig, oro, bekymmerSwedish
  • dukudukuSwahili
  • கவலைப்படTamil
  • దిగులు, చింతించు, చింతTelugu
  • ทุกข์ร้อนThai
  • endişe, tasa, endişelendirmek, kaygı, korkutmak, kaygılandırmakTurkish
  • lo, lo lắng, lo ngạiVietnamese
  • Chinese

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"worry." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/worry>.

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