Anxiety is a feeling of fear, unease, worry, or nervousness. Often it is a fear about the future, that something will or won't happen. It could be a feeling that one is in danger, or just a general uneasiness when faced with a new or difficult situation.
Eleanor felt great anxiety on her first day of secondary school. She did not know any of the other students and did not know if she could keep up with the classes.
Whenever her husband sailed off on his Navy duty, Mrs. Harrington felt great anxiety for his safety; but as time went on, she began to feel more relaxed about it.
An anxiety attack is a sudden onset of a feeling of extreme anxiety. People who have anxiety attacks are often afraid to leave their homes for fear something bad will happen. Separation anxiety is the term used for babies or little children who get upset if their mother is not nearby.
Mr. Maverick worked very hard to overcome his anxiety attacks about going to the dentist. His son had to help him, every day, to walk a little bit closer to the office. Finally, he made it all the way there.