wor·ry (wûr’ē, wŭr’ē)
v. wor·ried, wor·ry·ing, wor·ries
v. intr. 1) To feel uneasy or concerned about something; be troubled. See Synonyms at BROOD(Cf. ↑brood). 2) a) To seize something with the teeth and bite or tear repeatedly: »

a squirrel worrying at a nut.

b) To touch or handle something nervously or persistently: »

worry at a hangnail.

c) To attempt to deal with something in a persistent or dogged manner: »

worried along at the problem.

v. tr. 1) To cause to feel anxious, distressed, or troubled. See Synonyms at TROUBLE(Cf. ↑trouble). 2)
a. To seize with the teeth and bite or tug at repeatedly: »

a dog worrying a bone.

b. To touch or handle nervously or persistently: »

worrying the loose tooth.

c. To attack roughly and repeatedly; harass: »

worrying the enemy ships.

d. To bother or annoy, as with petty complaints.
e. To attempt to deal with in a persistent or repeated manner: »

Analysts have worried the problem for a decade.

3) To chase and nip at or attack: »

a dog worrying steers.

n. pl. wor·ries 1) The act of worrying or the condition of being worried; persistent mental uneasiness: »

"Having come to a decision, the lad felt a sense of relief from the worry that had haunted him for many sleepless nights"

(Edgar Rice Burroughs). 2) A source of nagging concern or uneasiness.
not to worry Informal There is nothing to worry about; there is no need to be concerned: »

"But not to worry: it all ... falls into place in the book's second half, where the language is plainer"

(Hallowell Bowser).
[Middle English werien, worien, to strangle, from Old English wyrgan; see wer-2.]
wor’ri·er n.
Word History: The ancestor of worry, the Old English verb wyrgan, meant "to strangle." Its Middle English descendant, worien, kept this sense and developed the new sense "to grasp by the throat with the teeth and lacerate" or "to kill or injure by biting and shaking." This is the way wolves might attack sheep, for example. In the 1500s worry began to be used in the sense "to harass, as by rough treatment or attack" or "to assault verbally," and in the 1600s the word took on the sense "to bother, distress, or persecute." It was a small step from this sense to the main modern senses "to cause to feel anxious or distressed" and "to feel troubled or uneasy," first recorded in the 1800s.

Word Histories. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • worry — vb Worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease, tantalize can all mean to torment so as to destroy one s peace of mind or to disturb one acutely. Worry stresses incessant attacking or goading and an intention or sometimes an effect of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Worry — Wor ry, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Worried}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Worrying}.] [OE. worowen, wirien, to strangle, AS. wyrgan in [=a]wyrgan; akin to D. worgen, wurgen, to strangle, OHG. wurgen, G. w[ u]rgen, Lith. verszti, and perhaps to E. wring.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Worry — Wor ry, n.; pl. {Worries}. A state of undue solicitude; a state of disturbance from care and anxiety; vexation; anxiety; fret; as, to be in a worry. The whir and worry of spindle and of loom. Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • worry — ► VERB (worries, worried) 1) feel or cause to feel troubled over actual or potential difficulties. 2) annoy or disturb. 3) (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at or pull about with the teeth. 4) (of a dog) chase and attack (livestock,… …   English terms dictionary

  • worry — [wʉr′ē] vt. worried, worrying [ME wirwen < OE wyrgan, to strangle, injure, akin to Ger würgen, to strangle < IE * werĝh , to twist, choke < base * wer , to twist > WORM] 1. a) to harass or treat roughly with or as with continual… …   English World dictionary

  • worry — [n] anxiety, trouble anguish, annoyance, apprehension, bad news*, care, concern, disquiet, distress, disturbance, doubt, fear, headache*, heartache*, irritation, misery, misgiving, nag*, pain*, perplexity, pest, plague, presentiment, problem,… …   New thesaurus

  • Worry — Wor ry, v. i. 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. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • worry — I noun affliction, annoyance, anxiety, apprehension, apprehensiveness, care, concern, consternation, difficulty, discomfort, discomposure, dismay, disquiet, distress, distress one s self, dread, fear, tearfulness, grief, malaise, mental agitation …   Law dictionary

  • worry — wor|ry1 W2S1 [ˈwʌri US ˈwə:ri] v past tense and past participle worried present participle worrying third person singular worries ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(be anxious)¦ 2 don t worry 3¦(make somebody anxious)¦ 4 not to worry 5 nothing to worry about …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • worry — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ big, considerable, great, main, major, serious ▪ Paying the mortgage is a big worry for many people. ▪ Her mothe …   Collocations dictionary

  • worry — 1 verb 1 BE ANXIOUS (I) to be anxious or unhappy about something so that you think about it a lot (+ about): You ve really got no need to worry about your weight. | worry that: He s worried that he might lose his job. (+ over): Dad worries over… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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