It describes a social condition that psychologists warn is increasingly common in our modern world, but chances are you have never heard of it.
Yet this new word is so relevant that Cambridge Dictionary has declared it the Word of the Year for 2018 after a global people’s choice poll.
A short list of four words that were added to its book this year was taken to a vote, with nomophobia coming out on top.
Nomophobia, a noun, describes the sense of fear or worry that arises when someone is without their mobile phone or unable to use it.
It can strike when the battery dies while you’re out and about and unable to recharge it or suddenly find yourself in a location with patchy reception.
It could also be felt when you can’t find your handset, if it’s slipped between couch cushions or fallen under your bed, or worse, if you’ve left it in the back of an Uber.
“Your choice tells us that people around the world probably experience this type of anxiety enough that you recognized it needed a name,” Cambridge Dictionary said in a statement.
“Like many modern coinages, nomophobia is what’s called a blend — a new word made up of syllables from two or more words, in this case ‘no mobile phone phobia.’”