- full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous: Her parents were anxious about her poor health.
- earnestly desirous; eager (usually followed by an infinitive or for): anxious to please; anxious for our happiness.
- attended with or showing solicitude or uneasiness: anxious forebodings.
- worried and tense because of possible misfortune, danger, etc; uneasy
- fraught with or causing anxiety; worrying; distressingan anxious time
- intensely desirous; eageranxious for promotion
1620s, from Latin anxius “solicitous, uneasy, troubled in mind” (also “causing anxiety, troublesome”), from angere, anguere “choke, squeeze,” figuratively “torment, cause distress” (see (v.)). The same image is in Serbo-Croatian tjeskoba “anxiety,” literally “tightness, narrowness.” Related: Anxiously; anxiousness.