Synonyms & Antonyms of afraid

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Frequently Asked Questions About afraid

How is the word afraid different from other adjectives like it?

The words apprehensive and fearful are common synonyms of afraid. While all three words mean "disturbed by fear," afraid often suggests weakness or cowardice and regularly implies inhibition of action or utterance.

afraid to speak the truth

When is it sensible to use apprehensive instead of afraid?

The words apprehensive and afraid are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger.

apprehensive of being found out

When can fearful be used instead of afraid?

The meanings of fearful and afraid largely overlap; however, fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament.

the child is fearful of loud noises

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Time Traveler for afraid

Time Traveler

The first known use of afraid was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Afraid.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afraid

Dictionary: Definition of afraid

Nglish: Translation of afraid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afraid for Arabic Speakers

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