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 According to Kate Sweeny, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, anticipatory dread only increases as waiting continues. Sarah Lyall, Star Tribune, "For Americans, call for patience after 'gigantic nightmare'," 3 Nov. 2020 The comments below, culled from recent interviews, reflect longing and dread in the remaining weeks before the presidential election. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "Amid ongoing racial tension, Black leaders in Connecticut share hopes and fears before an historic election," 20 Oct. 2020 The family’s worry turned to dread on May 1 when family members and friends searched a nearby creek. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "Alonzo Brooks' Family Sought Help When He Disappeared in 2004, But Instead Got Racial Abuse," 10 Sep. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, plant workers watched with growing dread as the coronavirus fanned out across the United States. USA Today, "‘They think workers are like dogs.’ How pork plant execs sacrificed safety for profits.," 12 Nov. 2020 What the right regards as a future demographic disaster simply does not fill the left with dread. Christopher R. Browning, The New York Review of Books, "Imperiled Democracy, Imperiled Planet," 3 Nov. 2020 The air in M&T Bank Stadium went limp with dread when All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley crumpled to the ground with a season-ending ankle injury late in the first quarter. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers," 2 Nov. 2020 As cases have already begun resurging this fall, reaching a record high of 83,010 new cases on Friday, health workers are watching with dread. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Doctors Are Appalled by White House’s “Barbaric” New Coronavirus Strategy," 26 Oct. 2020 In the Stephens case, the process was laced with dread. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Chase Strangio’s Victories for Transgender Rights," 12 Oct. 2020 Another layer of dread comes via some big-ass guitar fuzz, which is pared back to showcase 24kGldn's staccato delivery. Katie Bain, Billboard, "First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Zhu & 24kGoldn, Shimza, Rina Taniguchi & More," 6 Nov. 2020 Murmurs of dread floated through this old art colony recently when the Silverado wildfire erupted 20 miles away, on the other side of the 900-foot-high wilderness area that isolates the 6-mile-long beach town from the rest of Orange County. Clara Germani, The Christian Science Monitor, "Want to prevent wildfires? Try getting someone's goat.," 4 Nov. 2020 Living with uncertainty in real life can come with a similar sense of dread. Tonya Russell, SELF, "6 Therapist-Approved Tips for Living With All This Uncertainty," 29 Oct. 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dread. Accessed 4 Dec. 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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