GC: n

S: NHS – (last access: 28 November 2016); (last access: 28 November 2016).

N: 1. “morbid fear of being shut up in a confined space,” coined 1879 (in article by Italian-born, French-naturalized Swiss-English physician Dr. Benjamin Ball (1834-1892)) from Latin claustrum “a bolt, a means of closing; a place shut in, confined place, frontier fortress” (in Medieval Latin “cloister”), past participle of claudere “to close” + -phobia “fear.”
2. An abnormal and persistent fear of closed spaces, of being closed in or being shut in, as in elevators, tunnels, or any other confined space.
3. Claustrophobia, an abnormal fear of being in enclosed spaces, is a common specific phobia. A person with claustrophobia can’t ride in elevators or go through tunnels without extreme anxiety. Afraid of suffocating or being trapped, the person will avoid tight spaces and often engage in “safety seeking behavior,” such as opening windows or sitting near an exit. That may make the situation tolerable, but it doesn’t relieve the fear.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 28 November 2016). 2. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 28 November 2016). 3. WebMD – (last access: 28 November 2016).


CR: acrophobia, agoraphobia, anxiety, phobia.