Uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.
Attended with, showing, or causing anxiety: spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.
Usage Problem Eagerly or earnestly desirous.
Origin: From Latin ānxius, from angere, to torment; see angh- in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: Anxious has a long history of use roughly as a synonym for eager, but many prefer that anxious be used only when its subject is worried or uneasy about the anticipated event. In the traditional view, one may say We are anxious to see the strike settled soon but not We are anxious to see the new show of British sculpture at the museum. Fifty-two percent of the Usage Panel rejects anxious in the latter sentence. But general adoption of anxious to mean “eager” is understandable, at least in colloquial discourse, since it provides a means of adding emotional urgency to an assertion. It implies that the subject so strongly desires a certain outcome that frustration of that desire will lead to unhappiness. In this way, it resembles the informal adjective dying in sentences such as I'm dying to see your new baby.