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When a person feels very afraid of something, he or she might panic. It’s not good to panic because extreme fear can cause a person to lose the ability to think clearly, resulting in poor decision making. When a large group of people panic all at once, it can create a dangerous situation.

  • Everyone panicked when they heard the alarm go off. (Notice a "k" and "ed" are added to spell the past tense.)
  • A fire in the auditorium caused the audience to panic. As a result, several people were trampled. (trample = crushed by the weight of others)
  • Please don’t panic. We’ll figure a way out of this.
  • If you panic, you’ll just make the situation worse.
  • Students panicked when they learned there was an active shooter inside the school building.

panic He began to panic when he found out someone was trying to hurt him.

As a noun, the word "panic" looks like this:

  • When water seeped into the boat, it created a feeling of panic among the passengers.
  • There was widespread panic after the people learned that their country had been invaded.

You can use the word "panicky" as an adjective:

  • Sheila feels a little panicky when she’s in a room with too many people. She has claustrophobia.
  • The children got a little panicky before the tornado struck.
  • Try not to get panicky. The police will be here soon.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

Published April 23, 2012 / Updated February 24 2018