\ ə-ˈfrād How to pronounce afraid (audio) , Southern also ə-ˈfred \

Definition of afraid

1 : filled with fear or apprehension afraid of machines was afraid for his job
2 : filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation I'm afraid I won't be able to go.
3 : having a dislike for something She's not afraid of hard work. [=she's not unwilling to work hard]

Choose the Right Synonym for afraid

fearful, apprehensive, afraid mean disturbed by fear. fearful implies often a timorous or worrying temperament. the child is fearful of loud noises apprehensive suggests a state of mind and implies a premonition of evil or danger. apprehensive of being found out afraid often suggests weakness or cowardice and regularly implies inhibition of action or utterance. afraid to speak the truth

Examples of afraid in a Sentence

Melissa is afraid of flying, so she takes a train from Boston to visit her brother in Chicago.
Recent Examples on the Web And speaking of fun prints, don't be afraid of mixing them, as Studio DB boldly did in this bedroom. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 23 June 2022 Only jacket–is afraid of a trendy food sweeping California: sushi. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, 16 June 2022 What the filmmakers discovered was that after seeing those big spiders, the audience was not afraid of King Kong. David Marchese, New York Times, 10 June 2022 Stewart wasn’t afraid of gender-bending looks, including chiffon blouses and marabou trim tops. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 10 June 2022 The mood is serious, but nobody is afraid of the long odds. Globe Staff,, 10 June 2022 TMZThe Week Sony apparently ain't afraid of exhausting the Ghostbusters IP. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 9 June 2022 Two-thirds of customers are not afraid of having XR technologies augment their shopping experience. Ilya Gandzeichuk, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Curiel and others who stopped to eat tacos during their trip to the grocery store said some community members are afraid of the police. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afraid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of afraid

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afraid

Middle English affraied, afraied, from past participle of affraien "to disturb, frighten" — more at affray entry 2

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Time Traveler for afraid

Time Traveler

The first known use of afraid was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

27 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Afraid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for afraid


\ ə-ˈfrād How to pronounce afraid (audio) \

Kids Definition of afraid

1 : filled with fear She was afraid of snakes.
2 : filled with concern or regret I'm afraid I won't be able to go.
3 : having a dislike for something They're not afraid to work hard.

More from Merriam-Webster on afraid

Nglish: Translation of afraid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afraid for Arabic Speakers


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