A phobia is an irrational fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm. The word itself comes from the Greek word phobos, which means fear or horror.
Hydrophobia, for example, literally translates to fear of water.
When someone has a phobia, they experience intense fear of a certain object or situation. Phobias are different than regular fears because they cause significant distress, possibly interfering with life at home, work, or school.
People with phobias actively avoid the phobic object or situation, or endure it within intense fear or anxiety.