Synonym Chooser

How is the word trepidation distinct from other similar nouns?

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

raised the subject with trepidation

When would alarm be a good substitute for trepidation?

While the synonyms alarm and trepidation are close in meaning, alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger.

view the situation with alarm

Where would dread be a reasonable alternative to trepidation?

The words dread and trepidation can be used in similar contexts, but 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 might fear be a better fit than trepidation?

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

fear of the unknown

When could fright be used to replace trepidation?

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

fright at being awakened suddenly

When is panic a more appropriate choice than trepidation?

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

the news caused widespread panic

When is it sensible to use terror instead of trepidation?

The words terror and trepidation are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, terror implies the most extreme degree of fear.

immobilized with terror


Thesaurus Entries Near trepidation

Cite this Entry

“Trepidation.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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