Definition of fearful
1 : causing or likely to cause fear, fright, or alarm especially because of dangerous quality a fearful storm
2a : full of fear fearful for his safetyb : indicating or arising from fear a fearful glancec : inclined to fear : timorous
3 : very great or bad —used as an intensive a fearful waste fearful slum conditions
fearfullyplay \ˈfir-f(ə-)lē\ adverb
fearfulnessplay \ˈfir-fəl-nəs\ noun
Examples of fearful in a Sentence
He plays the role of a timid and fearful clerk.
They won the war but at a fearful cost.
Recent Examples of fearful from the Web
Despite homicides, not everyone is fearful of Kansas City trails Recent violent crime along the Indian Creek Trail has cut trail use but has not deterred some from walking, jogging and biking.
But potent, fearful memories, passed down from generation to generation, live on in almost every family.
Cox has always been a hulking, somewhat fearful presence –
Few congressional Republicans go as far as Flake, fearful that pro-Trump forces could derail their reelection campaigns next year.
And these questions come at a time when the Securities and Exchange Commission is undergoing a transition under the Trump administration, which has Democrats fearful of a wave of deregulation.
Plascencia would spend the rest of the day in ICE custody, fearful that she would be deported despite becoming an American citizen some 20 years ago, following an amnesty program initiated by President Ronald Reagan.
Some, sadly, went home after intermission, fearful of Schoenberg and Varese or simply eager to watch the Cavaliers take down the Celtics.
But fearful of letting OGT have access to its patents, Affy called off the negotiations in August.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fearful'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of fearful
Synonym Discussion of fearful
FEARFUL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fearful for English Language Learners
: feeling fear
: showing or caused by fear
: very bad or extreme
FEARFUL Defined for Kids
Definition of fearful for Students
1 : causing fear the fearful roar of a lion
2 : filled with fear I was fearful of failing the test.
3 : showing or caused by fear a fearful expression
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up fearful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).