: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
: an instance of this emotion
: a state marked by this emotion
: profound reverence and awe especially toward God
feared; fearing; fears
: to be afraid of : expect with alarm
fear the worst
: to have a reverential awe of
archaic : to feel fear in (oneself)
: to be afraid or apprehensive
feared for their lives
feared to go out at night
Noun He was trembling with fear. unable to walk the streets without fear of being mugged They regarded their enemies with fear and hatred. I've been trying to overcome my fear of flying. The doctor's diagnosis confirmed our worst fears. The government is trying to allay fears of a recession. Employees expressed fears that the company would go out of business. He told us about all his hopes and fears. She has a morbid fear of cats. Verb He was a cruel king who was feared and hated by his subjects. There's no need to fear. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
NounThe unusually early start to the wildfire season in the northern nation has put federal and provincial officials on high alert and raised fears about fire-fighting resources being exhausted before the summer even officially begins. —Laura Dhillon Kane, Fortune, 1 June 2023 Shame and stigma stop many pregnant people from seeking treatments, but a bigger deterrent is the crippling fear that their babies will be taken away by state welfare authorities. —Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 31 May 2023 The Tony Awards, scheduled for June 11, were initially canceled over fears of picket lines. —Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2023 But whatever exasperation some had at the terms of the deal was outweighed by fear of the alternative: what a first-ever government default would do to the economy, and by extension, to Biden’s reelection chances along with their own hopes of retaking the House majority. —Jim Puzzanghera, BostonGlobe.com, 31 May 2023 Over time, advocates of the separation of church and state fear, long-standing protections for young atheists, people who belong to no religion, and religious minorities will be eroded—until, perhaps, these protections disappear altogether. —Linda K. Wertheimer, The New Republic, 30 May 2023 When the alarm blares, some in the city are consumed by fear, imagining the worst-case scenarios that could unfold; displacement, being trapped under rubble, being killed. —Samya Kullab, Chicago Tribune, 29 May 2023 Those could be persuasive pitches to undecided independents on the issues that probably matter most to them or fundraising appeals to stronger supporters playing on their biggest fears if their candidate loses. —Jim Saksa, Anchorage Daily News, 28 May 2023 Liau Chung-ren/Zuma Press HONG KONG—A Uyghur scholar disappeared after traveling to Hong Kong from Seoul this month, a human-rights group said, raising fears he may have been detained and sent to mainland China as part of Beijing’s campaign against the predominantly Muslim ethnic group. —Austin Ramzy, WSJ, 27 May 2023
VerbAlmost immediately, perhaps fearing the prospect of a class-action lawsuit, Uber and DoorDash began sending the back pay to drivers. —Brian Merchant, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2023 Masterson was charged with three counts of rape by force or fear stemming from separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. —Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 31 May 2023 But many fear the most likely compromises, which could be announced in the coming months, will put the speed and quality of the cleanup at risk. —Ralph Vartabedian, New York Times, 31 May 2023 If wrong, Jocelyn feared punishment from the coaches. —Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas News, 30 May 2023 The United States and the EU recently stepped up their efforts to negotiate an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, fearing instability as Russia's war rages in Ukraine. —Zenel Zhinipotoku And Llazar Semini, BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2023 While the destructive winds of a hurricane are feared, hurricane storm surges can be even more deadly. —George Petras, USA Today, 30 May 2023 The city is grappling with a demolition order issued with intent to protect the surrounding area, as well as protests from some people in the community who fear others could still be alive and trapped inside. —Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 30 May 2023 But public interest advocates fear the rules don’t go far enough to protect workers. —Amber Burton, Fortune, 30 May 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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