Words For the Wise: Worry

Updated: Jan 4

We all know the definition of the word WORRY. Of course it means to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts. “I worry about you.” There are, however, a plethora of meanings. In your writing, don’t just stick to our common understanding of the word; let’s use it in a more creative, exacting way.

WORRY can be used to express more violent actions . Perhaps you may think of using WORRY in the following manner: to seize, especially by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does to another; similarly, it can mean to harass by repeated biting or snapping. You may want to use WORRY in a sentence like, The dog worried the raccoon until the dog dropped its lifeless body.”

in a very specific manner, WORRY can be used as a fox hunting term meaning the actions of the hounds in tearing to pieces the carcass of a fox. It is the perfect word to use in your story of the gentry class and a favorite activity when visiting their country estate.

WORRY is common word, but don’t be limited by the expected definition of the word. There are more subtle definitions of WORRY, and as the Reader’s Digest’s feature says, “it pays to enhance your word power.“


Jen Haertling loves teaching about English and writing. She is a former English teacher with a degree in writing. Jen is currently pursuing an MFA in the field.

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