Word of the Day


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an extreme dislike of beards

Origin and usage

The word pogonophobia is a combination of the Greek word ‘pōgōn’ meaning ‘beard’ and the Latin and Greek word ‘phobia’ meaning ‘panic or fear’.


Pogonophobia is a word that refers to an intense fear or dislike of beards. Like other phobias or irrational fears, pogonophobia may seem silly to people who do not experience it, yet for thousands of sufferers worldwide it is a very real fear that often affects their mental health and well-being.

The exact causes of pogonophobia are unknown, but several things could contribute to a person’s dislike of beards. These include:

  • A negative or traumatic past experience with a bearded person
  • Associating facial hair with illness or being unclean
  • Unfair stereotypes about people with beards
  • Misunderstanding cultural norms that require people to grow facial hair

Symptoms of pogonophobia can be quite serious and may include extreme anxiety, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling and full-on panic attack. People who have pogonophobia may experience a negative impact on their social life and careers, as well. If being around beards triggers an extreme reaction, people with pogonophobia may struggle to function at work or in social settings where they will come in regular contact with bearded individuals.
There is no certain cure for pogonophobia, but regular sessions with an experienced therapist are the most helpful way to tackle this disorder. Therapy may also include learning about other cultures to help dispel myths about beards or exploring events in a person’s past that may have triggered the onset of pogonophobia. Sometimes, doctors prescribe special medications that help people suffering from a fear of beards to ease symptoms associated with


View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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