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Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: panique 'caused by panic', from Greek panikos, from Pan ancient Greek god of nature, who caused great fear

panic

1 noun
     
pan‧ic1 S3
1 [countable usually singular, uncountable] a sudden strong feeling of fear or nervousness that makes you unable to think clearly or behave sensibly
in (a) panic
The children fled in panic.
a feeling of sheer panic (=complete panic)
She got into a panic when she couldn't find the tickets.
The whole nation is in a state of panic following the attacks.
She suffers from terrible panic attacks.
2 [countable usually singular, uncountable] a situation in which people are suddenly made very anxious, and make quick decisions without thinking carefully
panic over/about
the recent panic over the safety of baby milk
panic buying/selling
a wave of panic selling in Hong Kong
3 [singular] especially British English a situation in which you have a lot to do and not much time to do it in [↪ rush]:
the usual last minute panic just before the deadline
4

panic stations

British English a situation in which everyone is busy and anxious because something needs to be done urgently:
It was panic stations here on Friday.

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