afraid

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

Definition of afraid

1 : filled with fear or apprehension afraid of machines was afraid for his job
2 : filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation I'm afraid I won't be able to go.
3 : having a dislike for something She's not afraid of hard work. [=she's not unwilling to work hard]

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of afraid in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Maybe the company is afraid of alienating customers with a new, unfamiliar cable. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Apple has officially missed the boat on USB-C with this year’s iPhones," 14 Sep. 2018 My Brilliant Friend is warm and nostalgic, sure, but also never afraid to complicate its warmth and nostalgia with a bitter dose of reality. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The 7 best TV shows of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 She's also been sharing personal details about her life, and isn't afraid to get candid about what's going on behind the scenes. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande Recreated an Iconic 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch With Jimmy Fallon," 19 Dec. 2018 Hesse may not have been afraid that books would someday disappear, taking readers with them, but the dread of it thrums under the surface of this handsome book like a low chord in the soundtrack of thriller. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Inspiring Words for Aspiring Readers," 13 Dec. 2018 The singer has not been afraid to change up her makeup or hair routine, debuting unicorn hair, a short pixie cut, and even a makeover made of diamonds. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Was Named Star of the Year by “People en Español”," 30 Oct. 2018 In a time when ultra-bright white rooms reign supreme on Instagram, many of us might be afraid of color or pattern being too overwhelming. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Why You Should Wallpaper Your Ceiling," 14 Dec. 2018 There was a fear that renters, afraid of losing their homes, would be reluctant to complaining about a landlord for fear of retribution. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Seattle’s mandatory rental inspection law challenged in lawsuit," 6 Dec. 2018 Don't be afraid to jump in when your business needs you. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "5 Things to Know About Starting Your Own Business," 30 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afraid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of afraid

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afraid

Middle English affraied, afraied, from past participle of affraien "to disturb, frighten" — more at affray entry 2

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Learn More about afraid

Dictionary Entries near afraid

afoul of

AFP

Afr

afraid

afraid for

afraid not

afraid so

Statistics for afraid

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afraid

The first known use of afraid was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for afraid

afraid

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of afraid

: worried that something will cause pain or injury
: nervous about doing something
: nervous or worried that something might happen

afraid

adjective
\ ə-ˈfrād \

Kids Definition of afraid

1 : filled with fear She was afraid of snakes.
2 : filled with concern or regret I'm afraid I won't be able to go.
3 : having a dislike for something They're not afraid to work hard.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afraid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with afraid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afraid

Spanish Central: Translation of afraid

Nglish: Translation of afraid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afraid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on afraid

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