Words That End in -ia Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Words That End in -ia

This study guide offers a list of words that describe rare emotions—feelings not common to all of us. Nevertheless, these are words that you will hear or read about and will enjoy adding to your vocabulary word power.

Do you ever feel scared in an elevator or other small space?

    Do you get dizzy when you look down from a tall building?
    Do you sometimes suspect the whole world is against you?
    Do you often think you may be sick, even when you have no particular pains?

Many people have these feelings once in a while. But when such intense feelings become a constant problem and affect people's everyday lives, these rare (not often found) fears are called phobias.

The dictionary definition of phobia is an irrational fear of something that in normal circumstances poses little or no real danger. If the problem continues, psychologists and other doctors have several ways to help people overcome their fears. But for the great majority of people, such fears aren't a problem; the people just feel strange when they occur.

These are special words that describe serious conditions, but these same words are often used in daily conversations to describe the occasional, infrequent fear people have. You can build your word power by learning interesting words to describe phobias or other strange behavior patterns. And because these words describe such odd emotions or behaviors, they're fun to know. Just be careful when you use them; they may be misinterpreted as an insult if you use them inappropriately.


Remember that learning one word often means learning two or more. For example, the inability to sleep is called insomnia; the person who suffers with this problem is called an insomniac.

Words That Describe Strange or Rare Emotion


1. acrophobia. Fear of heights. The steep trail down the Grand Canyon terrified Judy, who had suffered from acrophobia her whole life.
2. amnesia. The loss of memory. The pilot recovered from the crash, but suffered amnesia about the details of his accident.
3. claustrophobia. Fear of small spaces, like elevators or closets. Air travel is an impossibility for my cousin Rebecca, who suffers from extreme claustrophobia
4. arachnophobia. An extreme fear of spiders. My friend has arachnophobia to such an extent that she wasn't able to watch the movie Charlotte's Web at our sleepover last weekend.
5. hypochondria. Excessive concern or talk about one's health, usually with concentration on a particular form of illness. Everyone in the chess club is tired of Ethan's hypochondria; he always worries about the back pain he fears he'll develop at the chess contest finals.
6. insomnia. Inability to sleep. James decided that his insomnia was a blessing once he realized how much studying he could get done in the middle of the night when the house was quiet.
7. kleptomania. A compulsion to steal, even without need or any specific desire. The store manager accused his favorite employee of kleptomania after catching him shoplifting CDs three days in a row.
8. megalomania. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. Many of the world's greatest generals are thought to have been megalomaniacs who accomplished great victories precisely because of their drive to do grand things.
9. paranoia. Extreme, irrational distrust of others. Jason's paranoia that the other students didn't like him was definitely unreasonable; the other kids simply didn't know him.
10. pyromania. An uncontrollable desire to set fires. Park rangers confirm that forest fires are caused more often by careless mistakes than by deliberate fires set by pyromaniacs.
11. agoraphobia. An abnormal fear of open spaces, crowds, and public areas. This is the opposite of claustrophobia.
12. vertigo. A sensation of dizziness or spinning, even when standing or sitting on solid ground. Vertigo is often associated with fear of heights. Tom chose not to climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty because he feared his vertigo might return.

Words You Should Now Know

acrophobia kleptomania
agoraphobia megalomania
amnesia paranoia
arachnophobia phobia
claustrophobia pyromania
hypochondria rare
insomnia vertigo

Extra Words You Learned in This Study Guide

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Words That End in -ia Practice Exercises

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