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]

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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 Marion King understands why some people are afraid of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit nurse was afraid to get COVID-19 vaccine. Then tragedy struck.," 23 Apr. 2021 As all the speakers noted, Crews is not afraid of public vulnerability. Los Angeles Times, "‘Our marriage was resurrected’: Terry and Rebecca King Crews talk healing and faith," 23 Apr. 2021 The single-dose vaccine is also great for those who are afraid of shots, said Dr. Amy Baxter, a pediatric emergency room doctor at the Medical College of Georgia and an associate professor at Augusta University. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "'The benefits outweigh the risks': It's time to allow J&J's COVID-19 vaccine again, public health experts say," 23 Apr. 2021 Indianapolis resident LaShay Brooks is sometimes afraid of what her 5-year-old daughter might learn whenever the TV is on. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "'We're carrying so much': How Indianapolis parents are talking to kids about race and pain," 22 Apr. 2021 And, of course, many people may be afraid of going back to restaurant jobs while the pandemic is still going on, or may be unable to return to work because of child care or other responsibilities that have become more acute during the pandemic. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Restaurants have a new challenge: Finding workers," 21 Apr. 2021 Companies whose work is done inside homes — including plumbers, contractors and pest control businesses — find many prospective hires are afraid of contracting the virus on a job. BostonGlobe.com, "Businesses scramble for help as would-be workers stay home," 21 Apr. 2021 Companies whose work is done inside homes — including plumbers, contractors and pest control businesses — find many prospective hires are afraid of contracting the virus on a job. Joyce M. Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Help wanted: Job openings go unfilled as businesses struggle to find workers," 21 Apr. 2021 Remember: This country was founded by Puritans, and Americans have always been afraid of too much style. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Style For Ages: Ryan Murphy Talks All Things Halston—Including His New Series—With Tom Ford and Hamish Bowles," 20 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler for afraid

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for afraid

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Afraid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/afraid. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 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.

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Comments on afraid

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