A to Z: Strange and Common List of Phobias

Phobias are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that eight percent of U.S. adults have some type of phobia. Women are more likely to experience phobias than men. Typical symptoms of phobias can include nausea, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feelings of unreality, and being preoccupied with the fear object.

The American Psychiatric Association identifies three different categories of phobias: social phobias, agoraphobia, and specific phobias. When people talk about having a phobia of a specific object such as snakes, spiders or needles, they are referring to a specific phobia.

Types of Specific Phobias
Illustration by JR Bee, Verywell

A-List of Some of the More Common Phobias

While not comprehensive, this phobia list offers a glimpse of the many phobias that can have a serious impact on an individual's life. As you may notice while you browse through this list, most specific phobias fall into one of four major categories: fears of the natural environment, fears related to animals, fear related to medical treatments or issues, and fears related to specific situations.

One important thing to remember is that virtually any object can become a fear object. The names of specific phobias are often formed as nonce words, or words coined for a single occasion only. These names themselves are often formed by taking a Greek prefix that represents the fear object and adding the -phobia suffix.

Because of this, any attempt at a completely exhaustive list of phobias would simply be an exercise in futility. Any list of phobias could grow with the addition of newly coined terms for previously unnamed specific phobias.

While listing all of the phobias that may exist is not possible, it can be helpful to look through a list of some of the more commonly described phobias. As you can see by looking at this list, almost any object or situation can become the source of fear.

A

  • Achluophobia - Fear of darkness
  • Acrophobia - Fear of heights
  • Aerophobia - Fear of flying
  • Algophobia - Fear of pain
  • Agoraphobia - Fear of open spaces or crowds
  • Aichmophobia - Fear of needles or pointed objects
  • Amaxophobia - Fear of riding in a car
  • Androphobia - Fear of men
  • Anginophobia - Fear of angina or choking
  • Anthrophobia - Fear of flowers
  • Anthropophobia - Fear of people or society
  • Aphenphosmphobia - Fear of being touched
  • Arachibutyrophobia - Fear of peanut butter
  • Arachnophobia - Fear of spiders
  • Arithmophobia - Fear of numbers
  • Astraphobia - Fear of thunder and lightning
  • Ataxophobia - Fear of disorder or untidiness
  • Atelophobia - Fear of imperfection
  • Atychiphobia - Fear of failure
  • Automatonophobia - Fear of Human-Like Figures
  • Autophobia - Fear of being alone

B

  • Bacteriophobia - Fear of bacteria
  • Barophobia - Fear of gravity
  • Bathmophobia - Fear of stairs or steep slopes
  • Batrachophobia - Fear of amphibians
  • Belonephobia - Fear of pins and needles
  • Bibliophobia - Fear of books
  • Botanophobia - Fear of plants

C

  • Cacophobia - Fear of ugliness
  • Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed
  • Catoptrophobia - Fear of mirrors
  • Chionophobia - Fear of snow
  • Chromophobia - Fear of colors
  • Chronomentrophobia - Fear of clocks
  • Chronophobia - Fear of Time
  • Claustrophobia - Fear of confined spaces
  • Coulrophobia - Fear of clowns
  • Cyberphobia - Fear of computers
  • Cynophobia - Fear of dogs

D

  • Dendrophobia - Fear of trees
  • Dentophobia - Fear of dentists
  • Domatophobia - Fear of houses
  • Dystychiphobia - Fear of accidents

E

  • Ecophobia - Fear of the home
  • Elurophobia - Fear of cats
  • Entomophobia - Fear of insects
  • Ephebiphobia - Fear of teenagers
  • Equinophobia - Fear of horses

G

  • Gamophobia - Fear of marriage
  • Genuphobia - Fear of knees
  • Glossophobia - Fear of speaking in public
  • Gynophobia - Fear of women

H

I

  • Iatrophobia - Fear of doctors
  • Insectophobia - Fear of insects

K

L

  • Leukophobia - Fear of the color white
  • Lilapsophobia - Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes
  • Lockiophobia - Fear of childbirth

M

  • Mageirocophobia - Fear of cooking
  • Megalophobia - Fear of large things
  • Melanophobia - Fear of the color black
  • Microphobia - Fear of small things
  • Mysophobia - Fear of dirt and germs

N

  • Necrophobia - Fear of death or dead things
  • Noctiphobia - Fear of the night
  • Nosocomephobia - Fear of hospitals
  • Nyctophobia - Fear of the dark

O

  • Obesophobia - Fear of gaining weight
  • Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8
  • Ombrophobia - Fear of rain
  • Ophidiophobia - Fear of snakes
  • Ornithophobia - Fear of birds

P

  • Papyrophobia - Fear of paper
  • Pathophobia - Fear of disease
  • Pedophobia - Fear of children
  • Philematophobia - Fear of Kissing
  • Philophobia - Fear of love
  • Phobophobia - Fear of phobias
  • Podophobia - Fear of feet
  • Porphyrophobia - Fear of the color purple
  • Pteridophobia - Fear of ferns
  • Pteromerhanophobia - Fear of flying
  • Pyrophobia - Fear of fire

S

  • Samhainophobia - Fear of Halloween
  • Scolionophobia - Fear of school
  • Scoptophobia - Fear of being stared at
  • Selenophobia - Fear of the moon
  • Sociophobia - Fear of social evaluation
  • Somniphobia - Fear of sleep

T

  • Tachophobia - Fear of speed
  • Technophobia - Fear of technology
  • Tonitrophobia - Fear of thunder
  • Trypanophobia - Fear of needles/injections
  • Trypophobia - Fear of Holes

V-Z

  • Venustraphobia - Fear of beautiful women
  • Verminophobia - Fear of germs
  • Wiccaphobia - Fear of witches and witchcraft
  • Xenophobia - Fear of strangers or foreigners
  • Zoophobia - Fear of animals

A Word From Verywell

Phobias can have a serious impact on well-being, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Phobias are common, but also treatable. If you believe that you have the symptoms of some type of phobia, consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment advice. 

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Article Sources

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Regier DA, Kuhl EA, Kupfer DJ. The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. World Psychiatry. 2013;12(2):92-8. doi:10.1002/wps.20050

  2. Spiegel SB. Current issues in the treatment of specific phobia: recommendations for innovative applications of hypnosis. Am J Clin Hypn. 2014;56(4):389-404. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2013.801009

Additional Reading

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
  • Colman, AM. A Dictionary of Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2015.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. Specific phobia among adults.