to think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy and frightened
Don't worry, she'll be all right.
verb (worries, worrying, worried /, has worried)
to feel that something bad will happen or has happened; to make somebody feel this:
I always worry when Mark doesn't come home at the usual time.
Don't worry if you don't know the answer.
There's nothing to worry about.
What worries me is how we are going to get home.
I. wor‧ry1 S1 W2 /ˈwʌri $ ˈwɜːri/ BrE AmE verb (past tense and past participle worried, present participle worrying, third person singular worries)
[Word Family: adjective: ↑worried ≠ UNWORRIED, ↑worrying, ↑worrisome; noun: ↑worry, ↑worrier; adverb: ↑worryingly, ↑worriedly; verb: ↑worry]
[Language: Old English; Origin: wyrgan 'to strangle']
1. BE ANXIOUS [intransitive] to be anxious or unhappy about someone or something, so that you think about them a lot
I worry about my daughter.
You’ve really got no need to worry about your weight.
She worried that she wasn’t doing enough to help.
Dad worries over the slightest thing.
Don’t tell Mum about this – she’s got enough to worry about (=she already has a lot of problems or is very busy).
2. don’t worry spoken
a) used when you are trying to make someone feel less anxious:
Don’t worry, darling, Daddy’s here.
don’t worry if
Don’t worry if you can’t finish all the questions.
b) used to tell someone that they do not need to do something
don’t worry about
Don’t worry about sorting them out – I’ll do it later.
c) used to tell someone that you will definitely do something:
Don’t you worry, I’ll make sure he does his fair share.
3. MAKE SOMEBODY ANXIOUS [transitive] to make someone feel anxious about something:
The recent changes in the Earth’s climate are beginning to worry scientists.
I didn’t tell Mum and Dad – I didn’t want to worry them.
what worries me is .../the (only) thing that worries me is ...
The only thing that worries me is the food. I don’t want to get food poisoning.
Doesn’t it worry you that Sarah spends so much time away from home?
worry yourself (=feel anxious, especially when there is no need to)
You’re worrying yourself unnecessarily.
4. not to worry British English spoken used to say that something is not important:
Not to worry, we can always go another time.
5. nothing to worry about spoken used to tell someone that something is not as serious or difficult as they think:
It’s just a check-up – nothing to worry about.
6. ANNOY [transitive] to annoy someone SYN bother:
The heat didn’t seem to worry him.
7. ANIMAL [transitive] if a dog worries sheep, it tries to bite or kill them
worry at something phrasal verb
1. if an animal worries at a bone or piece of meat, it bites and shakes it
2. if you worry at a problem, you think about it a lot in order to find a solution
worry [worry worries worried worrying] verb, noun [ˈwʌri] [ˈwɜːri]
verb (wor·ries, worry·ing, wor·ried, wor·ried)
1. intransitive to keep thinking about unpleasant things that might happen or about problems that you have
• Don't worry. We have plenty of time.
• ~ about sb/sth Don't worry about me. I'll be all right.
• He's always worrying about his weight.
• ~ over sb/sth There's no point in worrying over things you can't change.
• ~ (that)… I worry that I won't get into college.
2. transitive to make sb/yourself anxious about sb/sth
• ~ sb/yourself (about sb/sth) What worries me is how I am going to get another job.
• ~ sb/yourself + adj. (about sb/sth) He's worried himself sick (= become extremely anxious) about his daughter.
• it worries sb that… It worries me that he hasn't come home yet.
• it worries sb to do sth It worried me to think what might happen.
3. transitive to annoy or disturb sb
• ~ sb The noise never seems to worry her.
• ~ sb with sth Don't keep worrying him with a lot of silly questions.
4. transitive ~ sth (of a dog) to attack animals, especially sheep, by chasing and/or biting them
Old English wyrgan ‘strangle’, of West Germanic origin. In Middle English the original sense of the verb gave rise to the meaning ‘seize by the throat and tear’, later figuratively ‘harass’, which led to the sense ‘cause anxiety to’ (early 19th century, the date also of the noun).
• Don't bother Harry— he has enough to worry about as it is.
• Don't let it worry you unduly.
• Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.
• Don't worry the driver with unnecessary requests.
• Don't worry too much about it.
• I can't help worrying about the future.
• She worries a lot about crime.
• Stop worrying, Dad, we'll be fine.
• We can't help worrying for your safety.
• What really worries me is what we do if there's nobody there.
• You do worry unnecessarily, you know.
• He's worried himself sick about his daughter.
• I worry that I won't get into college.
• What worries me is how I'm going to get another job.
• You worry too much.
Idioms: no worries! ▪ not to worry
Derived: worry at something
worry / ˈwʌr.i / / ˈwɝː- / verb (PROBLEM)
A2 [ I ] to think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy and frightened:
Try not to worry - there's nothing you can do to change the situation.
Don't worry, she'll be all right.
It's silly worrying about things which are outside your control.
[ + (that) ] She's worried (that) she might not be able to find another job.
B2 [ T ] to make someone feel unhappy and frightened because of problems or unpleasant things that might happen:
You worried your mother by not writing.
[ + that ] It worries me that he hasn't phoned yet.
The continued lack of rain is starting to worry people.
[wʌ̱ri, AM wɜ͟ːri]
worries, worrying, worried
1) VERB If you worry, you keep thinking about problems that you have or about unpleasant things that might happen.
Don't worry, your luggage will come on afterwards by taxi...
[V about n/-ing] I worry about her constantly...
[V about n/-ing] I work in a school so I don't have to worry about finding someone to look after my little boy...
[V that] They worry that extremists might gain control.
2) VERB If someone or something worries you, they make you anxious because you keep thinking about problems or unpleasant things that might be connected with them.
[V n] I'm still in the early days of my recovery and that worries me...
[V n] `Why didn't you tell us?' - `I didn't want to worry you.'...
[V-ed] The English, worried by the growing power of Prince Henry, sent a raiding party to Scotland to kill him...
[it V n that/to-inf] Does it worry you that the Americans are discussing this?
3) VERB: oft with neg If someone or something does not worry you, you do not dislike them or you are not annoyed by them. [SPOKEN]
[V n] The cold doesn't worry me...
[it V n if] It wouldn't worry me if he came to my house, but I don't know if I would go out of my way to ask him.
4) N-UNCOUNT Worry is the state or feeling of anxiety and unhappiness caused by the problems that you have or by thinking about unpleasant things that might happen.
The admission shows the depth of worry among the Tories over the state of the economy...
His last years were overshadowed by financial worry.
5) N-COUNT A worry is a problem that you keep thinking about and that makes you unhappy.
My main worry was that Madeleine Johnson would still be there...
The worry is that the use of force could make life impossible for the UN peacekeepers...
His wife Cheryl said she had no worries about his health.
6) CONVENTION You say not to worry to someone to indicate that you are not upset or angry when something has gone wrong. [INFORMAL]
`Not to worry, Baby,' he said, and kissed her tenderly.
1wor·ry /ˈwɚri/ verb -ries; -ried; -ry·ing
1 : to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen
• We didn't want you to worry.
• Don't worry. You'll be fine.
• Don't make your parents worry.
• When they didn't call after two hours, we began to worry.
• They were fine. We needn't have worried.
- often + about
• Let the travel agent worry about the details.
• Haven't we got enough to worry about?
• We don't have to worry about choosing a restaurant. [=someone else will choose a restaurant]
• The nurse said her condition was nothing to worry about. [=her condition was not serious]
• I'll take care of it. Don't worry about a thing.
- sometimes + over
• She worried over her husband's health.
- + that
• Medical experts worry that a new strain of the virus will be more difficult to contain.
• We worry that children don't get enough exercise.
• My parents worry [=fear] that I won't go to college.
2 [+ obj] : to make (someone) anxious or upset : to cause (someone) to worry
• His poor health worries me.
• What's worrying you? [=what is causing you to feel upset?]
• It doesn't seem to worry him that rain is in the forecast.
• We didn't tell you about the accident because we didn't want to worry you.
• Don't worry yourself. [=don't be upset or concerned]
• He worried himself sick [=he was extremely worried] before the exam.
not to worry informal
- used to say that there is no cause for concern or worry
• “It looks like we're almost out of milk.” “Not to worry. I'll get some more when I go to the store this afternoon.”
worry at [phrasal verb] worry at (something) chiefly Brit
1 : to pull, twist, or bite (something) repeatedly
• The dog was in the corner worrying at a bone.
2 : to try to solve (a problem) by thinking about it for a long time
• She kept worrying at the problem all day.