1

fear

verb \ ˈfir \

Definition of fear

transitive verb
1 archaic :frighten
2 archaic :to feel fear in (oneself)
3 :to have a reverential awe of
  • fear God
4 :to be afraid of :expect with alarm
  • fear the worst
intransitive verb
:to be afraid or apprehensive
  • feared for their lives
  • feared to go out at night

fearer

noun

Examples of fear in a Sentence

  1. He was a cruel king who was feared and hated by his subjects.

  2. There's no need to fear.

Recent Examples of fear from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fear

Middle English feren, from Old English fǣran, from fǣr — see 2fear

fear Synonyms


2

fear

noun

Definition of fear

1 a :an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
b (1) :an instance of this emotion
(2) :a state marked by this emotion
2 :anxious concern :solicitude
3 :profound reverence and awe especially toward God
4 :reason for alarm :danger

Examples of fear in a Sentence

  1. He was trembling with fear.

  2. unable to walk the streets without fear of being mugged

  3. They regarded their enemies with fear and hatred.

  4. I've been trying to overcome my fear of flying.

  5. The doctor's diagnosis confirmed our worst fears.

  6. The government is trying to allay fears of a recession.

  7. Employees expressed fears that the company would go out of business.

  8. He told us about all his hopes and fears.

  9. She has a morbid fear of cats.

Recent Examples of fear from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fear

Middle English fer, from Old English fǣr sudden danger; akin to Old High German fāra ambush and perhaps to Latin periculum attempt, peril, Greek peiran to attempt

Synonym Discussion of fear

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

FEAR Defined for English Language Learners

fear

verb

Definition of fear for English Language Learners

  • : to be afraid of (something or someone)

  • : to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)

  • : to be afraid and worried


fear

noun

Definition of fear for English Language Learners

  • : an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger : a feeling of being afraid

  • : a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful


FEAR Defined for Kids

1

fear

verb \ ˈfir \

Definition of fear for Students

feared; fearing
:to be afraid of :feel fear

2

fear

noun

Definition of fear for Students

:a strong unpleasant feeling caused by being aware of danger or expecting something bad to happen

Medical Dictionary

fear

noun \ ˈfi(ə)r \

medical Definition of fear

1 :an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger and accompanied by increased autonomic activity
2 :an instance of fear

fear

verb


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