Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.
- Alphabetized by author
- In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.
First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
- Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
- Robert Burns,To a Mouse, st. 1 (1785)
- "Pan again!" said Dr. Bull irritably. "You seem to think Pan is everything."
"So he is," said the Professor, "in Greek. He means everything."
"Don't forget," said the Secretary, looking down, "that he also means Panic."
- Anglers have a way of romanticizing their battles with fish and of forgetting that the fish has a hook in his mouth, his gullet, or his belly and that his gameness is really an extreme of panic in which he runs, leaps, and pulls to get away until he dies. It would seem to be enough advantage to the angler that the fish has the hook in his mouth rather than the angler.
- Ernest Hemingway, introduction to S. Kip Farrington Jr., Atlantic Game Fishing (1937)
- Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
- Ernest Hemingway, Men at War (1942), Introduction
- The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 52 (3 March 1919)
- To sound the alarm is not to panic but to seek action from an aroused public.
- John F. Kennedy, speech at Tulsa, Oklahoma (16 September 1959), as printed in The Strategy of Peace (1960), edited by Allan Nevins.
- In the East men know panic, but they do not know what fright is.
- Guy de Maupassant, "Fright", tr. H. C. Schweikert, French Short Stories (1918)
- Panic: A highly underrated capacity thanks to which individuals are able to indicate clearly that something is wrong.... Given their head, most humans panic with great dignity and imagination. This can be called democratic expression or practical common sense.
- John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion (1994), "Panic"
- I have said that, in a sense, the parasites were a 'shadow' of man's cowardice and passivity. Their strength could increase in an atmosphere of defeat and panic, for it fed on human fear. In that case, the best way to combat them was to change the atmosphere to one of strength and purpose.
- Colin Wilson in The Mind Parasites, p. 188 (1967)
- When in danger,
When in doubt,
Run in circles
Scream and shout!