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List of Phobias and Their Meanings

Updated on August 5, 2017
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Lena Kovadlo is a writer for various content-sharing websites. She's the author of 12 books and helps other authors publish theirs.


What is Phobia?

Phobia is an intense and continually recurring fear of something. It can be fear of people, fear of things, fear of situations, fear of animals, fear of food, and just about anything else. People who have phobias most often than not avoid things, people, situations, etc. that stir the fear within them. Sometimes the fear turns out to be beyond their control and starts to interfere with daily their lives. When this happens they no longer have just fear; they now have an anxiety disorder.

Fears (Phobias) and Scientific Names

Many fears that people face have a scientific name. All end with the suffix phobia, which of course means fear. Here is a list of phobias and their meanings. The list contains some common phobias but also phobias that are uncommon and phobias that you might find unusual, weird or even funny.

List of Phobias and Their Meanings

Some common phobias:

  • Achluophobia – Fear of darkness
  • Acrophobia – Fear of heights
  • Arachnophobia – Fear of spiders
  • Autophobia – Fear of being alone
  • Aviophobia or Aviatophobia – Fear of flying
  • Brontophobia – Fear of thunder/lightning
  • Claustrophobia – Fear of small, confined spaces
  • Coulrophobia – Fear of clowns
  • Dentophobia – Fear of dentists
  • Glossophobia – Fear of speaking in public
  • Iatrophobia – Fear of doctors or of going to the doctor
  • Katsaridaphobia – Fear of cockroaches
  • Mysophobia – Fear of being contaminated with germs or dirt
  • Necrophobia – Fear of death
  • Nosocomephobia – Fear of hospitals
  • Xenophobia – Fear of strangers or foreigners

List of Phobias and Their Meanings

Some uncommon/unusual phobias:

  • Arachibutyrophobia – Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
  • Alektorophobia – Fear of chickens
  • Athophobia – Fear of flowers
  • Chionophobia – Fear of snow
  • Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia – Fear of money
  • Chronomentrophobia – Fear of clocks
  • Cibophobia – Fear of food
  • Consecotaleophobia – Fear of chopsticks
  • Emetophobia – Fear of vomiting
  • Euphobia – Fear of hearing good news
  • Geliophobia – Fear of laughter
  • Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – Fear of the number 666
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – Fear of long words
  • Nephophobia – Fear of clouds
  • Papyrophobia – Fear of paper
  • Peladophobia – Fear of bald people
  • Phagophobia – Fear of being eaten
  • Plutophobia – Fear of wealth
  • Pogonophobia – Fear of beards
  • Pteronophobia – Fear of being tickled by feathers
  • Omphalophobia – Fear of belly buttons
  • Soceraphobia – Fear of parents-in-law
  • Turophobia – Fear of cheese

Overcoming Phobias Via Exposure Therapy

Some say that one of the ways to overcome a phobia is to go through exposure therapy. In exposure therapy the person has to expose himself/herself to that very thing, person, situation, etc. that he/she is afraid of.

For example, if a person is afraid of flying then in order to get rid of his/her fear of flying he/she would need to get on the plane. This is done in a series of steps and the steps must be followed to the tee otherwise this procedure will not work and may result in negative consequences; maybe traumatizing the person even more.

© 2011 Lena Kovadlo


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