afraid

adjective
\ ə-ˈfrād How to pronounce afraid (audio) , 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]

Keep scrolling for more

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

Some men are afraid of living up to the mantle of Frank Gifford, and there’s no reason for that. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Kathie Lee Gifford and Her Late Husband Frank Went Through It All Together," 22 Mar. 2019 Kim Kardashian is the Klapback Kween — the mom of three is not afraid to call out her haters and stick up for her family, especially on social media. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Kim Kardashian's Most Savage Quotes and Clapbacks of All Time," 4 Mar. 2019 Being afraid to take risks College prepares students for careers, but getting a job isn’t the only option after graduation. Valencia Higuera, The Seattle Times, "9 biggest career mistakes college grads make," 20 Feb. 2019 If temperatures are too cold to stay outside, don’t be afraid to call it a day and escape to the comfort of your tent instead. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "Winter Camping: How To Get Outdoors When It's Freezing Cold," 14 Feb. 2019 Scorpio is connected to the earth’s soil, so under this lunation, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 But the Heat have never been afraid of risk when the reward can change the landscape. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Heat: Why wouldn't Heat be all-in for Kawhi Leonard?," 7 July 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about afraid

Dictionary Entries near afraid

afoul of

AFP

Afr

afraid

afraid for

afraid not

afraid so

Statistics for afraid

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afraid

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce afraid (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!