English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Question says it all.

I've had suggestions of using "relieved" or "elated", but none of them really sound like what I'm thinking of. Think about it this way. The other day, I nearly dropped my laptop while walking to class. My laptop is really, really, pricey, and dropping it would render it into a nice little paperweight.

Luckily though, I caught it just as it was fumbling around in my hands.

I don't know what to describe it as.

share|improve this question
Perhaps relief? – DopeGhoti Jan 11 '14 at 7:11
Has to be relief, cant think of any-other emotion – Preetie Sekhon Jan 11 '14 at 7:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Maybe it's best to use two words here. On the one hand, you're relieved by the fact that nothing bad ultimately happened; on the other hand, you're harrowed (or some other word) by the idea of what could have happened. "Harrowed but relieved, I …"

share|improve this answer

Perhaps a mixture of emotions were present, and that's why a single word doesn't fit.

Relief is a very common reaction to the sudden freedom from a strong fear and anticipation of something bad; a swell of relief, mixed with overwhelming gratitude, as well as a little bit of chagrin (feeling distressed or humiliated).

That's what I feel when this happens, even if I'm alone.

share|improve this answer

Something along the lines of A rush of adrenaline or pumped ?

share|improve this answer

I would describe it as "a sudden rush of adrenaline which then leads to shock and then rising relief".

share|improve this answer
FWIW in reality, the shock comes first, which produces the adrenaline ;) – GreenAsJade Aug 21 '14 at 3:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.