Synonym Chooser

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

The words afraid and fearful are common synonyms of apprehensive. While all three words mean "disturbed by fear," apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger.

apprehensive of being found out

When is it sensible to use afraid instead of apprehensive?

While in some cases nearly identical to apprehensive, afraid often suggests weakness or cowardice and regularly implies inhibition of action or utterance.

afraid to speak the truth

When would fearful be a good substitute for apprehensive?

The words fearful and apprehensive can be used in similar contexts, but fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament.

the child is fearful of loud noises

Thesaurus Entries Near apprehensive

Cite this Entry

“Apprehensive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on apprehensive

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!