dread

verb
\ ˈdred How to pronounce dread (audio) \
dreaded; dreading; dreads

Definition of dread

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to fear greatly can't swim and dreads the water a dreaded disease
b archaic : to regard with awe
2 : to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face dread the future dreaded telling him the truth dread the thought of speaking in public

intransitive verb

: to be apprehensive or fearful dread not

dread

noun

Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : great fear especially in the face of impending evil were filled with dread by reports of another terrorist attack
b : extreme uneasiness in the face of a disagreeable prospect (see prospect entry 1 sense 4c) dread of a social blunder
c archaic : awe
2 : one causing fear or awe the days of wooden ships and wooden homes, when fire was an omnipresent dread— F. W. Saunders
3a : dreadlock sense 1 trimming each dread
b dreads plural : dreadlock sense 2 looked great in dreads

dread

adjective

Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : causing great fear or anxiety dread diseases
2 : inspiring awe our dread king

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Choose the Right Synonym for dread

Noun

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety. faced the meeting with dread fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear. fright at being awakened suddenly alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger. view the situation with alarm panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity. the news caused widespread panic terror implies the most extreme degree of fear. immobilized with terror trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation. raised the subject with trepidation

Examples of dread in a Sentence

Verb

He can't swim and dreads going in the water. She dreaded making speeches in front of large audiences. I dread the day I will have to leave my friends. I dread the thought of moving next week. I dread to think about what they might do next.

Noun

She has a dread of failure. He lives with the constant dread of rejection. She awaited her punishment with dread. The news about the war fills me with dread. They live in constant dread of another attack.

Adjective

every ship on the Spanish Main was terrified of running into the dread pirate
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With bright coral lipstick by makeup artist Mylah Morales, and her dreads swept into an up-do by hairstylist Vernon Francois, Smith radiated carefree glamour. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Willow Smith Found Her Latest Red Carpet Look on Instagram," 22 May 2019 Degree, for one, has an Ultraclear Black+White product range, which—beyond protecting against sweat and odor protection—helps protect against that dreaded yellow staining. Cassie Shortsleeve, Popular Mechanics, "How 5 Everyday Products Have Changed Through the Ages," 10 Dec. 2018 This sort of problem has been persistent since the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, a policy that first threw money at state and local governments to avoid another sort of voting issue (the legendary, dreaded hanging chad). Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The ugly truth about voting security: States won’t fix it," 6 Nov. 2018 Who can relate to dreading going through the steps of their skincare routine after a busy day? Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Everything In Amazon's Fast Beauty Co. Sheet Mask Line Is Under $20," 14 Mar. 2019 Much like publishers embraced and later dreaded Amazon.com, the popularity of food-delivery apps may mean restaurants could be the next businesses to get starved. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Delivery Apps May Take the Whole Enchilada," 10 Mar. 2019 Heller had every problem that an incumbent would dread. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Dean Heller, survivalist," 19 Sep. 2018 Russia’s dreaded nuclear torpedo, designed to nuke entire coastal cities into oblivion and trigger tsunamis, has been sighted in tests at sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Nuclear Tsunami Apocalypse Torpedo is Named 'Poseidon'," 24 July 2018 Collin wears dreads; Miles sports a collection of tattoos and a grill. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Blindspotting is the rare buddy comedy that tackles social issues. It works.," 19 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each year, the approach of spring fills Scott Yates with a familiar sense of dread. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Tired of daylight saving time? These places are trying to end it.," 8 Mar. 2019 An elegant dread slithers through every page of this elusive novel like wisteria on a crumbling wall. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "9 mysteries and thrillers to give you an adrenaline rush this summer," 7 June 2019 Across Indiana In cities and small towns across Indiana, the reaction was the same — moments of prayer, reflection, a quiet elation mixed with dread. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "D-Day remembered: How Indiana reacted to the Normandy invasion," 6 June 2019 This has been a Mariners season of extremes, where ecstasy and agony have each made cameo appearances, and a sense of dread coexists with the underlying motif of hope. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Only one question matters this Mariners season: How is the step back affecting the step forward?," 19 May 2019 But now, each day's Instagram post notification comes with a tingle of excitement and a pinch of dread. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift's Cryptic Social Media Clues Have Reached a Breaking Point," 23 Apr. 2019 But the first episode, which begins (after a prologue) inside the Chernobyl control room, as technicians try to understand a mysterious explosion outside, creates an excruciating atmosphere of tension and dread. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "HBO’s New Miniseries Chernobyl Will Give You Nightmares," 4 May 2019 But for people with anxiety disorders, the sense of fear and dread can be crippling and constant. Caroline Foran, Glamour, "No, You Don’t Have to ‘Justify’ Your Anxiety," 27 Mar. 2019 While some women proudly sport a silver mane, many others face the arrival of new gray hairs with dread. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "9 Things You Didn't Know About Gray Hair," 27 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dread.' 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 dread

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dread

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English dreden, from Old English drǣdan

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Learn More about dread

Dictionary Entries near dread

dray horse

drayman

Drayton

dread

dreaddour

dreadful

dreadingly

Statistics for dread

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dread

The first known use of dread was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dread

dread

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dread

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to fear something that will or might happen

dread

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong feeling of fear about something that will or might happen
: a person or thing that causes fear

dread

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

formal : causing great fear

dread

verb
\ ˈdred How to pronounce dread (audio) \
dreaded; dreading

Kids Definition of dread

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to fear or dislike greatly He can't swim and dreads going into the water.
2 : to be very unwilling to face I dread Monday.

dread

noun

Kids Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

: great fear especially of something that will or might happen … her dread of water was greater than her fear of the dark …— L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

dread

adjective

Kids Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

: causing great fear or anxiety a dread disease

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More from Merriam-Webster on dread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dread

Spanish Central: Translation of dread

Nglish: Translation of dread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dread for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dread

Comments on dread

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