dread

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

Essential Meaning of dread

: to fear something that will or might happen He can't swim and dreads going in the water. She dreaded making speeches in front of large audiences. See More ExamplesI 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.Hide

Full 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

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 But the hype around River Oaks as a Halloween hotspot also brings traffic, a word that always strikes fear and dread into the hearts of Houstonians. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 30 Oct. 2021 Unfortunately, this necessary corrective for uncritical chauvinism combined with Progressive economic determinism to discourage scholarly interpretation of the American founding as either unique or — that dread word! — good. Sam Negus, National Review, 10 Oct. 2021 The women both dread and anticipate a trial, if Sharpe decides to push ahead with one. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 26 Sep. 2021 Jacqueline Hampton, founder of the travel planning site Portico, says travelers already dread the return of fees. Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2021 When employees dread the start of the work day, both their mental and physical health suffer. Bill Higgs, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Many area residents dread this time of year, when the warm ocean breezes that typically meander in from the coast give way to howling winds that rattle oak trees, carry clouds of dust and deliver the potential for disaster. Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Afghans dread the Taliban, a group surveys consistently find is unpopular. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Sep. 2021 The atmosphere is at once sensual and unsettled—dread in vivid colors. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The results underscored a sense of dread among Democrats who had already been bracing for losses in the 2022 midterm elections that could cost them control of Congress. Arkansas Online, 6 Nov. 2021 Does a sense of dread, panic or even fear immediately take over the mind, body and soul? Oscar Frazier, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 A single day had elapsed before Daddy's anger brought out the sense of dread everyone felt about my situation. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, 9 Nov. 2021 The results underscored a sense of dread among Democrats who had already been bracing for losses in the 2022 midterm elections that could cost them control of Congress. Arkansas Online, 6 Nov. 2021 The results underscored a sense of dread among Democrats who had already been bracing for losses in the 2022 midterm elections that could cost them control of Congress. New York Times, 5 Nov. 2021 Most gasoline- and diesel-powered pickups aim for similar levels of dread with massive grills and headlights that look like squinty eyes gauging your potential as a snack. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 31 Oct. 2021 Still, the call to show his body provokes a very specific kind of dread. Los Angeles Times, 24 Oct. 2021 Across the bay in Oakland, his landlord Dao Nguyen battled her own sense of dread about repaying her mortgage debt. Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for dread

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dread

Drayton

dread

dreaddour

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Statistics for dread

Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dread. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for dread

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 Wonderful Wizard of Oz

dread

adjective

Kids Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

: causing great fear or anxiety a dread disease

More from Merriam-Webster on dread

Nglish: Translation of dread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dread for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dread

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