Synonym Chooser

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

The words afraid and apprehensive are common synonyms of fearful. While all three words mean "disturbed by fear," fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament.

the child is fearful of loud noises

When can afraid be used instead of fearful?

While the synonyms afraid and fearful are close in meaning, 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 fearful?

The synonyms apprehensive and fearful are sometimes interchangeable, but apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger.

apprehensive of being found out

Thesaurus Entries Near fearful

Cite this Entry

“Fearful.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/fearful. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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