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.
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).