anxious (adj.)

1620s, "greatly troubled by uncertainties," from Latin anxius "solicitous, uneasy, troubled in mind" (also "causing anxiety, troublesome"), from angere, anguere "to choke, squeeze," figuratively "to torment, cause distress" (from PIE root *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful"). The same image is in Serbo-Croatian tjeskoba "anxiety," literally "tightness, narrowness." Meaning "earnestly desirous" (as in anxious to please) is from 1742. Related: Anxiously; anxiousness.

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