Phobias – fear or hate of something – are great not just for giving more depth to a character, but as a way of introducing conflict or triggering action.
It’s a good means of catching a villain, too, although if a phobia is going to be the baddie’s downfall, it must come up much earlier in the book (even if it’s subtly done), not sprung on the reader at the end.
In a romance, they’re good ways either to bring the couple together or of lever them apart.
Simply reading through the list might give you plot ideas.
If you want the reverse, simply swap –philia for –phobia and in most cases the fear or hatred becomes a love or obsession.
Ablutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing.
Acarophobia- Fear of ticks and fleas.
Agateophobia- Fear of insanity.
Agrizoophobia- Fear of animals.
Ailurophobia- Fear of cats.
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Algophobia- Fear of pain.
Amathophobia- Fear of dust.
Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
Antlophobia- Fear of floods.
Apiphobia- Fear of bees.
Apotemnophobia- Fear of persons with amputations.
Astrophobia- Fear of stars or celestial space.
Ataxophobia- Fear of disorder or untidiness.
Athazagoraphobia- Fear of being forgotton or ignored.
Aurophobia- Fear of gold.
Automysophobia- Fear of being dirty.
Bacillophobia- Fear of microbes.
Bathmophobia- Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
Bathophobia- Fear of depth.
Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians: frogs, newts, salamanders
Bibliophobia- Fear of books.
Blennophobia- Fear of slime.
Bromidrophobia- Fear of body smells.
Cacophobia- Fear of ugliness.
Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women.
Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors.
Chaetophobia- Fear of hair.
Chemophobia- Fear of chemicals or working with chemicals.
Chionophobia- Fear of snow.
Chiroptophobia- Fear of bats.
Chrematophobia- Fear of money.
Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.
Cibophobia- Fear of food.
Coimetrophobia- Fear of cemeteries.
Coprophobia- Fear of feces.
Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks.
Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.
Crystallophobia- Fear of crystals or glass.
Cynophobia- Fear of dogs or rabies.
Demonophobia – Fear of demons.
Dentophobia- Fear of teeth or dentists.
Didaskaleinophobia- Fear of going to school.
Dikephobia- Fear of justice.
Dinophobia- Fear of dizziness or whirlpools.
Dipsophobia- Fear of drinking.
Doraphobia- Fear of fur or skins of animals.
Dromophobia- Fear of crossing streets.
Ecclesiophobia- Fear of church.
Eikosophobia- Fear of the number 20
Eisoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors or of seeing oneself in a mirror.
Electrophobia- Fear of electricity.
Enetophobia- Fear of pins.
Enosiophobia – Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin.
Entomophobia- Fear of insects.
Eosophobia- Fear of dawn or daylight.
Epistaxiophobia- Fear of nosebleeds.
Ergophobia- Fear of work.
Eurotophobia- Fear of female genitalia.
Frigophobia- Fear of cold or cold things.
Gamophobia- Fear of marriage.
Geliophobia- Fear of laughter.
Genuphobia- Fear of knees.
Gephyrophobia – Fear of crossing bridges.
Gerontophobia- Fear of old people or of growing old.
Glossophobia- Fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.
Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity.
Hadephobia- Fear of hell.
Hagiophobia- Fear of saints or holy things.
Haptophobia- Fear of being touched.
Hedonophobia- Fear of feeling pleasure.
Heliophobia- Fear of the sun.
Haemophobia – Fear of blood.
Herpetophobia- Fear of reptiles or creepy, crawly things.
Hierophobia- Fear of priests or sacred things.
Hippophobia- Fear of horses.
Homichlophobia- Fear of fog.
Hydrophobia- Fear of water or of rabies.
Hygrophobia- Fear of liquids, dampness, or moisture.
Hypnophobia- Fear of sleep or of being hypnotized.
Iatrophobia- Fear of going to the doctor or of doctors.
Ichthyophobia- Fear of fish.
Insectophobia – Fear of insects.
Isopterophobia- Fear of termites.
Katsaridaphobia- Fear of cockroaches.
Kenophobia- Fear of voids or empty spaces.
Kosmikophobia- Fear of cosmic phenomena.
Kymophobia- Fear of waves or wave like motions.
Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables.
Laliophobia- Fear of speaking.
Leukophobia- Fear of the color white.
Limnophobia- Fear of lakes.
Linonophobia- Fear of string.
Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.
Mastigophobia- Fear of punishment.
Mechanophobia- Fear of machines.
Megalophobia- Fear of large things.
Melanophobia- Fear of the color black.
Melophobia- Fear or hatred of music.
Menophobia- Fear of menstruation.
Merinthophobia- Fear of being bound or tied up.
Metallophobia- Fear of metal.
Methyphobia- Fear of alcohol.
Murinophobia- Fear of mice.
Mycophobia- Fear or hatred of mushrooms.
Myrmecophobia- Fear of ants.
Necrophobia- Fear of death or dead things.
Neophobia- Fear of anything new.
Nephophobia- Fear of clouds.
Noctiphobia- Fear of the night.
Nosocomephobia- Fear of hospitals.
Nosophobia- Fear of becoming ill.
Novercaphobia- Fear of your step-mother.
Ommatophobia- Fear of eyes.
Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.
Oneirophobia- Fear of dreams.
Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes.
Ornithophobia- Fear of birds.
Papyrophobia- Fear of paper.
Parasitophobia- Fear of parasites.
Peccatophobia- Fear of sinning or imaginary crimes.
Pediophobia- Fear of dolls.
Peladophobia- Fear of bald people.
Pentheraphobia- Fear of mother-in-law.
Phagophobia- Fear of eating or of being eaten.
Phasmophobia- Fear of ghosts.
Philematophobia- Fear of kissing.
Philophobia- Fear of falling in love.
Photophobia- Fear of light.
Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.
Potamophobia- Fear of rivers or running water.
Pharmacophobia- Fear of drugs.
Pteronophobia- Fear of feathers.
Radiophobia- Fear of radiation, x-rays.
Rhabdophobia- Fear of being beaten by a rod
Rhytiphobia- Fear of getting wrinkles.
Sciophobia- Fear of shadows.
Scolionophobia- Fear of school.
Selachophobia- Fear of sharks.
Selaphobia- Fear of light flashes.
Selenophobia- Fear of the moon.
Siderodromophobia- Fear of trains, railroads or train travel.
Somniphobia- Fear of sleep.
Spheksophobia- Fear of wasps.
Stenophobia- Fear of narrow things or places.
Tachophobia- Fear of speed.
Taphephobia – Fear of being buried alive.
Thalassophobia- Fear of the sea.
Theatrophobia- Fear of theatres.
Tomophobia- Fear of surgical operations.
Trypanophobia- Fear of injections.
Urophobia- Fear of urine or urinating.
Vaccinophobia- Fear of vaccination.
Vitricophobia- Fear of step-father.
Xanthophobia- Fear of the color yellow.
Xenophobia- Fear of strangers or foreigners.
Xylophobia- Fear of wood, wooden objects.
Zelophobia- Fear of jealousy.
Zoophobia- Fear of animals.
NB If you have spotted an error, either in spelling or in fact, do please let me know so I can correct it and thank you.