agoraphobia


agoraphobia
\ \ [19] Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or, more generally, of simply being out of doors – is first referred to in an 1873 issue of the Journal of Mental Science; this attributes the term to Dr C Westphal, and gives his definition of it as ‘the fear of squares or open places’. This would be literally true, since the first element in the word represents Greek agoráopen space, typically a market place, used for public assemblies’ (the most celebrated in the ancient world was the Agora in Athens, rivalled only by the Forum in Rome). The word agorá came from ageireinassemble’, which is related to Latin grexflock’, the source of English gregarious. Agoraphobia was not the first of the -phobias. That honour goes to hydrophobia in the mid 16th century. But that was an isolated example, and the surge of compounds based on Greek phóbosfear’ really starts in the 19th century. At first it was used for symptoms of physical illness (photophobiaabnormal sensitivity to light’ 1799), for aversions to other nationalities (Gallophobia 1803; the synonymous Francophobia does not appear until 1887), and for facetious formations (dustophobia, Robert Southey, 1824), and the range of specialized psychological terms familiar today does not begin to appear until the last quarter of the century (CLAUSTROPHOBIA 1879, acrophobiafear of heights’ from Greek akrostopmost’ – see ACROBAT – 1892).
\ \ Cf.AGGREGATE, ALLEGORY, GREGARIOUS, SEGREGATE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • agoraphobia — (n.) fear of open spaces, 1873, from Ger. Agorophobie, coined 1871 by Berlin psychiatrist Carl Westphal (1833 1890) from Gk. agora open space (see AGORA (Cf. agora)) + phobia fear (see PHOBIA (Cf. phobia)). Related: Agoraphobe; agoraphobic …   Etymology dictionary

  • agoraphobia — ► NOUN ▪ irrational fear of open or public places. DERIVATIVES agoraphobic adjective & noun. ORIGIN from Greek agora marketplace …   English terms dictionary

  • agoraphobia — [ag΄ər ə fō′bē ə; ] now often [ ə gôr΄əfō′bē ə] n. [ AGORA1 + PHOBIA] an abnormal fear of being in open or public places agoraphobic adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Agoraphobia — DiseaseDisorder infobox Name = Agoraphobia ICD10 = F40.00 Without panic disorder, F40.01 With panic disorder ICD9 = ICD9|300.22 Without panic disorder, ICD9|300.21 With panic disorder Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder, often precipitated by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Agoraphobia — An abnormal and persistent fear of public places or open areas, especially those from which escape could be difficult or help not immediately accessible. Persons with agoraphobia frequently also have panic disorder. People with agoraphobia… …   Medical dictionary

  • agoraphobia — [19] Agoraphobia – fear of open spaces or, more generally, of simply being out of doors – is first referred to in an 1873 issue of the Journal of Mental Science; this attributes the term to Dr C Westphal, and gives his definition of it as ‘the… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • agoraphobia — [[t]æ̱gərəfo͟ʊbiə[/t]] N UNCOUNT Agoraphobia is the fear of open or public places …   English dictionary

  • agoraphobia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek agora + New Latin phobia Date: 1873 abnormal fear of being helpless in an embarrassing or unescapable situation that is characterized especially by the avoidance of open or public places • agoraphobe noun •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • agoraphobia — /ag euhr euh foh bee euh/, n. Psychiatry. an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas, sometimes accompanied by anxiety attacks. [1870 75; AGORA + PHOBIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • agoraphobia — noun /ˌæɡərəˈfoʊbiə/ The fear of wide open spaces, crowds, or uncontrolled social conditions …   Wiktionary


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