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I am wondering what it's called when you fear the unknown, like I am scared of what's hidden deep in the ocean, far out in space, death, etc.--basically things I can't really explain. I just want to know what it's called.

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3 Answers 3

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Xenophobia

The irrational sensation of fear experienced about a person or a group of persons as well as situations that are perceived as strange or foreign. It is the fear of anything that is beyond one’s comfort zone.

This article would help explain a lot more on Xenophobia and also explains that this word would fit into your context.

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  • This is probably closest, but I reckon (pace Rumsfeld) it refers to a fear of the 'known unknowns'. I'm not sure that it describes that vague disquiet with no obvious cause that I think of when I hear fear of the unknown, and that I sense from the OP.
    – JHCL
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 12:01
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    Yeah, I think that word is at least perceived, in common use, as meaning more a fear of the strange than a fear of that which is actually unknown.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 12:13
  • @JHCL But the deep of the ocean is also while strange, not unknown. How could you fear something you don't even know it exists (or don't even believe it exists, before anybody brings up ghosts or similar).
    – skymningen
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:53
  • @skymningen - The OP refers to "what's hidden deep in the ocean", not the deep ocean itself. The point is that anything, including the previously unimagined, might be present, and a threat.
    – JHCL
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 13:05
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    I'm downvoting this, because while the "FearOf.net" article cited does define xenophobia as quoted in the answer, it is a non-standard definition, and none of the 5 dictionaries I checked, including OED, lists any definition even approaching it. The only dictionary-supported definition available is the standard, not-applicable-to-this-question "fear of foreigners [or strangers]".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 13:37
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Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives the environment to be dangerous, uncomfortable or unsafe. These situations can include wide-open spaces, uncontrollable social situations, unfamiliar places, shopping malls, airports and bridges.

And maybe Panphobia or Fear of everything.

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Agnostophobia - Fear of the unknown.

Name of music album:
http://www.amazon.com/Agnostophobia-Fear-Of-The-Unknown/dp/B006M6AZ6U.

Perhaps, the word is now copyrighted as name of the album, but the word while yet to be used with acceptable usage, is the most accurately descriptive.

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  • Mr Brand in 1978 of Brooklyn Tech said he would get this word accepted looks like he got it done. Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 12:51

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