dread 1 of 3

dread

2 of 3

noun

1
2
3

dread

3 of 3

verb

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near dread

Cite this Entry

“Dread.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dread. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on dread

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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