1 of 2

transitive verb

now dialectal, England


2 of 2


now dialectal, British
: for fear

Word History


Transitive verb

Middle English aferen, going back to Old English āfǣran, from ā-, perfective prefix + fǣran "to frighten"


Middle English afere, adverb, "in fear," from a- a- entry 1 + fere fear entry 1

First Known Use

Transitive Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1552, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of afear was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near afear

Cite this Entry

“Afear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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