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

Ting’s bill also sought to eliminate a stumbling block for many drivers trying to go electric: the state’s dreaded rebate waiting list. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "California lawmakers kill plan to triple electric-vehicle rebates," 11 Sep. 2019 Saints keep marching on The Saints were desperate to forget that dreaded no-call and move on from one of the most devastating losses in recent memory. Alaa Abdeldaiem, SI.com, "Saints Top Texans on Last-Second Field Goal, Raiders Impress in Win Over Broncos," 10 Sep. 2019 There are times that present themselves in life where a big talk, one that’s likely unexpected on one side or perhaps dreaded on both sides, is not only called for, but necessary. Mary Schumacher, chicagotribune.com, "Should you use marijuana before a big talk with a friend or family member?," 27 Aug. 2019 And while many dread their return to the classroom, there’s one pupil who seems beyond excited for school to start: Princess Estelle of Sweden. Vogue, "Princess Estelle of Sweden Is Adorable in Her Official “Back to School” Portrait," 20 Aug. 2019 The most dreaded of which is a plan to do away with J&K’s special status within the Indian union. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "Kashmir descends into a witch’s brew of fear and suspense," 4 Aug. 2019 Like most of us, William Murphy dreads calling health insurance companies. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "We Asked Prosecutors if Health Insurance Companies Care About Fraud. They Laughed at Us.," 10 Sep. 2019 Fans had been dreading the announcement that Phish made Tuesday, saying camping would not be permitted due to an outbreak of plague among the prairie dogs. Brian Ries, CNN, "Camping is canceled at Phish's Colorado concerts. Blame the plague-infected prairie dogs," 20 Aug. 2019 Fans had been dreading the announcement that Phish made Tuesday, saying camping would not be permitted due to an outbreak of plague among the prairie dogs. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "How can you be mad at a prairie dog? Well, Phish fans sure are," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Suddenly, a sense of dread pervaded the visitors’ dugout. Los Angeles Times, "Kenley Jansen blows another save, but Dodgers still come on top in extras," 28 Aug. 2019 This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Missing Toni Morrison: raceAhead," 6 Aug. 2019 These questions about Satoshi, however, filled me with a special kind of dread. Evan Ratliff, WIRED, "Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe!," 16 July 2019 The good news is that this sense of dread isn't always unusual or even necessarily a bad thing. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "What It Means If You're Dreading Your Therapy Sessions," 12 July 2019 McDonald’s, the company most responsible for giving cows an existential sense of dread, has plans to revolutionize your drive-thru experience. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, "Column: McDonald’s moves toward voice-recognition drive-thrus. What could possibly go wrong?," 12 Sep. 2019 For some, the beginning of autumn is about apple-picking, or back-to-school, or the dread of seasonal affective disorder. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "We Need To Talk About Noodle Kugel," 16 Sep. 2019 Nonetheless, the perpetrators seem to be tapping into the primal dread that so many children—and more than a few adults—experience in the presence of clowns. Frank T. Mcandrew, Quartzy, "The psychology behind why we find clowns so creepy," 6 Sep. 2019 Nonetheless, the perpetrators seem to be tapping into the primal dread that so many children -- and more than a few adults -- experience in the presence of clowns. Frank T. Mcandrew, CNN, "Why clowns like Pennywise from 'IT Chapter 2' give us the creeps," 6 Sep. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near dread

dray horse

drayman

Drayton

dread

dreaddour

dreadful

dreadingly

Statistics for dread

Last Updated

1 Oct 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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