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 In Rome, modern construction operations often unearth ancient finds, to the point that builders sometimes dread the disruption caused by archaeologists. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ancient Roman Villa Discovered Beneath Italian Apartment Complex," 8 Oct. 2020 For Ballesteros, the elation of becoming a flight attendant began to give way to dread as the virus took hold. Author: Ian Duncan, Lori Aratani, Michael Laris, Anchorage Daily News, "Airlines face worst crisis since 9/11 as funding ends," 27 Sep. 2020 Perhaps, because of it all, your morning routine has collapsed, setting you up to dread the rest of your day. Akili King, Vogue, "How to Start—And Stick With—a Morning Routine," 15 Sep. 2020 Teilhard’s prophecy raises a useful question: Why should a merging of all minds be something to dread? Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, "Is the Internet Conscious? If It Were, How Would We Know?," 16 Sep. 2020 All these additional tools to fight the coronavirus could prove critical should there be another spike in patients hospitalized for the disease in the fall, a development that experts both anticipate and dread. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Once precious resources in coronavirus fight, ventilators no longer doctors' first choice," 26 Aug. 2020 But experience has taught her that White Christians often balk when discussions get difficult and pastors dread offending White congregants. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Why Black Christians are bracing for a 'whitelash'," 10 July 2020 Hospitals and clinics already under strain dread a pileup of new respiratory infections, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), another seasonal pathogen that can cause serious illness in young children and the elderly. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "How will COVID-19 affect the coming flu season? Scientists struggle for clues," 14 Aug. 2020 The sequence is satisfyingly pulpy, with dynamic pacing that builds legitimate intrigue and sometimes even dread. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "What Lovecraft Country Gets Wrong About Racial Horror," 14 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The money to Democrats has heightened a sense of dread among Republicans. Brian Slodysko, Star Tribune, "Senate Democrats' fundraising success puts GOP on defensive," 12 Oct. 2020 Bly Manor' has no enveloping sense of dread Almost immediately, unusual things start happening. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "Patience is a virtue. How Netflix horror show 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' makes it a chore," 6 Oct. 2020 Still groggy, the 48-year-old immigrant from Jamaica, who had been living without legal status in the United States for two decades before she was picked up by immigration authorities, felt a swell of dread come over her. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Immigrants say they were pressured into unneeded surgeries," 29 Sep. 2020 Still groggy, the 48-year-old immigrant from Jamaica, who had been living without legal status in the United States for two decades before she was picked up by immigration authorities, felt a swell of dread come over her. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Immigrants Say They Were Pressured Into Unneeded Surgeries," 29 Sep. 2020 This psychological thriller with countless layers of dread takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood undergoing gentrification. Sian Babish, chicagotribune.com, "Best books of fall 2020," 1 Oct. 2020 People with stable housing, transportation and money for utilities and food feel a sense of dread, Bye added, but there’s a whole group of people who are truly desperate. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "As we approach the election after a relentless year, 2020 feels like it will never end," 30 Sep. 2020 In principle, yes, but the idea of taking an airplane to a faraway place and spending 12 hours a day in overcrowded screening rooms, news conferences and parties fills me with dread. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "We Watched Fall Film Festivals From Home. Here’s How It Went.," 22 Sep. 2020 Why did opposing teams speak with dread of traveling to Oakland — to a now-defunct home advantage? Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Goodell’s message to 49ers fans, NFL spectators: You don’t matter, apparently," 5 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for dread

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dread

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dread. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dread

dread

verb
How to pronounce dread (audio)

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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Comments on dread

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