afraid

adjective \ ə-ˈfrād , Southern also ə-ˈfred \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

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]

Examples of afraid in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of afraid from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of afraid

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

Synonym Discussion of 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


AFRAID Defined for Kids

afraid

adjective \ ə-ˈfrād \

Definition of afraid for Students

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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