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panic

Meaning: a sudden expression of fear or great concern; also a verb

For example:

  • There was panic on the playground when a child started having a seizure.

  • There's no food in the house but don't panic. We'll just order a pizza.

Origin: Pan was the goat-like god of shepherds and flocks in Greek mythology. He was able to cause sudden, widespread fear with his voice.

Quick Quiz:

Which situation is more likely to cause a parent to panic?

a. The weather report says a tornado is coming very soon.

b. The dinner is going to take a bit longer than expected.

c. The children forgot to turn the lights off in the basement.

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Contributor: Tara Benwell