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Dec 21, 2009
This week's theme
Fear and desire

This week's words
agoraphobia
dipsomania
astraphobia
onomatomania
acrophobia
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Fear and Desire. That sounds like the name of some 19th century novel. Instead, it is the theme for this week's words in AWAD. It seems that in English there's a word for every imaginable phobia and mania -- let's face up to some of these during the next few days.

agoraphobia

PRONUNCIATION:
(ag-uhr-uh-FO-bee-uh)

MEANING:
noun: A fear of being in public places, open spaces, or in crowds.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek agora (marketplace). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ger- (to gather) that is also the source of egregious, gregarious, disgregate, aggregate, congregation, and segregate.

USAGE:
"Concerns a polar bear would suffer agoraphobia after moving from a city zoo to four acres in the Highlands were unfounded."
Agoraphobic Bear Fears 'Allayed'; BBC News (London, UK); Oct 30, 2009.

See more usage examples of agoraphobia in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. -Arthur Plotnik, editor and author (b. 1937)

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