adjective \ˈfir-fəl\

: feeling fear

: showing or caused by fear

: very bad or extreme

Full Definition of FEARFUL

:  causing or likely to cause fear, fright, or alarm especially because of dangerous quality <a fearful storm>
a :  full of fear <fearful for his safety>
b :  indicating or arising from fear <a fearful glance>
c :  inclined to fear :  timorous
:  very great or bad —used as an intensive <a fearful waste> <fearful slum conditions>
fear·ful·ly \-f(ə-)lē\ adverb
fear·ful·ness \-fəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of FEARFUL

  1. He plays the role of a timid and fearful clerk.
  2. They won the war but at a fearful cost.

First Known Use of FEARFUL

14th century

Synonym Discussion of FEARFUL

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>.

Rhymes with FEARFUL


Next Word in the Dictionary: fearless
Previous Word in the Dictionary: feared
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