Synonyms & Antonyms of dread

(Entry 1 of 3)



Synonyms & Antonyms of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

3 something or someone that causes fear or dread especially without reason
  • speaking in public is a perennial dread for many people

Synonyms for dread

Words Related to dread



Synonyms of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

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Frequently Asked Questions About dread

How is the word dread distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of dread are alarm, fear, fright, panic, terror, and trepidation. While all these words mean "painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger," 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

When is alarm a more appropriate choice than dread?

In some situations, the words alarm and dread are roughly equivalent. However, alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger.

view the situation with alarm

When could fear be used to replace dread?

The meanings of fear and dread largely overlap; however, fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.

fear of the unknown

In what contexts can fright take the place of dread?

Although the words fright and dread have much in common, fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear.

fright at being awakened suddenly

Where would panic be a reasonable alternative to dread?

The synonyms panic and dread are sometimes interchangeable, but panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity.

the news caused widespread panic

When might terror be a better fit than dread?

While in some cases nearly identical to dread, terror implies the most extreme degree of fear.

immobilized with terror

How do trepidation and dread relate to one another?

Trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation.

raised the subject with trepidation

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Time Traveler for dread

Time Traveler

The first known use of dread was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dread.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dread

Nglish: Translation of dread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dread for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dread


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