Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

afraid

play
adjective \ə-ˈfrād, Southern also ə-ˈfred\

Definition of afraid

  1. 1 :  filled with fear or apprehension <afraid of machines> <afraid for his job>

  2. 2 :  filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation <I'm afraid I won't be able to go>

  3. 3 :  having a dislike for something <afraid of hard work>



Examples of afraid in a sentence

  1. <Melissa is afraid of flying, so she takes a train from Boston to visit her brother in Chicago.>



Origin and Etymology of afraid

Middle English affraied, from past participle of affraien to frighten — more at affray


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of afraid

fearful, apprehensive, afraid mean disturbed by fear. fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament <the child is fearful of loud noises>. apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger <apprehensive of being found out>. afraid often suggests weakness or cowardice and regularly implies inhibition of action or utterance <afraid to speak the truth>.


AFRAID Defined for Kids

afraid

play
adjective \ə-ˈfrād\

Definition of afraid for Students

  1. 1 :  filled with fear <She was afraid of snakes.>

  2. 2 :  filled with concern or regret <I'm afraid I won't be able to go.>

  3. 3 :  having a dislike for something <They're not afraid to work hard.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up afraid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

melancholy philistine lazy frenetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ