Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

WORRY

worry |ˈwərē| verb ( -ries, -ried) 1 [ intrans. ] give way to anxiety or unease; allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles : he worried about his soldier sons in the war | [with clause ] I began to worry whether I had done the right thing. • [ trans. ] cause to feel anxiety or concern : there was no need to worry her | I've been worrying myself sick over my mother | [ trans. ] he is worried that we are not sustaining high employment | [as adj. ] ( worrying) the level of inflation has improved but remains worrying. • [as adj. ] ( worried) expressing anxiety : there was a worried frown on his face. • [ trans. ] cause annoyance to : the noise never really stops, but it doesn't worry me. 2 [ trans. ] (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth : I found my dog contentedly worrying a bone. • (of a dog) chase and attack (livestock, esp. sheep). • [ intrans. ] ( worry at) pull at or fiddle with repeatedly : he began to worry at the knot in the cord. noun ( pl. -ries) a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems : her son had been a constant source of worry to her. • a source of anxiety : the idea is to secure peace of mind for people whose greatest worry is fear of attack. PHRASES not to worry informal used to reassure someone by telling them that a situation is not serious : not to worry—no harm done. DERIVATIVES worriedly adverb worrier noun worryingly adverb : [as submodifier ] trade deficits are worryingly large. ORIGIN Old English wyrgan [strangle.] In Middle English the original sense of the verb gave rise to the meaning [seize by the throat and tear,] later figuratively [harass,] whence [cause anxiety to] (early 19th century, the date also of the noun).

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