Language Tips

to worry over a long period

Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips explores the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at verbs that mean to worry over a long period:



worry to feel nervous and upset because you keep thinking about a problem that you have now or may have in the future:

  • Try not to worry so much.
  • People worry a lot about crime.
  • She worries that she has taken on too much work.

brood to worry about something a lot and for a long time, even though you cannot do anything about it:

  • There is no point in sitting and brooding over it.

fret to worry about something continuously, often something that is not very serious:

  • Don’t fret about him, he’ll be fine.

agonize to spend a long time worrying and being upset about something:

  • For days I agonized over whether to accept his offer.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘to worry or feel nervous about something‘.

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Liz Potter

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