- The definition of fear is an emotion caused by anxiety or the uneasiness of being afraid of something or someone.
An example of fear is the feeling felt in a haunted house.
- Fear is defined as to be afraid of someone or something.
An example of fear is for a child to be scared of getting a shot.
This child fears getting a shot.
- a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc.; timidity; dread; terror; fright; apprehension
- respectful dread; awe; reverence
- a feeling of uneasiness or apprehension; concern: a fear that it will rain
- a cause for fear; possibility; chance: there was no fear of difficulty
Origin of fearMiddle English fer ; from Old English fær, literally , sudden attack, akin to Old High German fāra, ambush, snare: for Indo-European base see peril
- Obsolete to fill with fear; frighten
- to be afraid of; dread
- to feel reverence or awe for
- to expect with misgiving; suspect: I fear I am late
- to feel fear; be afraid
- to be uneasy, anxious, or doubtful
for fear of
- a. A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger: Our fears intensified as the storm approached.b. A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in constant fear of attack; saved as much as he could for fear of losing his job.
- A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
- A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.
- Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a deity.
verbfeared, fear·ing, fears
- To be afraid or frightened of: a boy who fears spiders.
- To be uneasy or apprehensive about: We all feared what we would see when the grades were posted.
- To consider probable; expect: I fear you are wrong. I fear I have bad news for you.
- To revere or be in awe of (a deity, for example).
- To be afraid: Your injury is minor. Don't fear.
- To be uneasy or apprehensive: We fear for the future of the business.
Origin of fearMiddle English fer, from Old English f&aemac;r, danger, sudden calamity; see per-3 in Indo-European roots.
See also phobias.horripilation the raising of the hairs on the skin as a response to cold or fear; goose bumps or goose pimples. panophobia 1. a nonspecific fear, a state of general anxiety. 2. an abnormal fear of everything. Also panphobia, pantaphobia, pantophobia. —panophobe, n. —panophobic, adj. phobophobia 1. an abnormal fear of being af raid; a fear of fear itself. 2. a fear of phobias. polyphobia an abnormal fear of many things.
(countable and uncountable, plural fears)
- (uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
- He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, The Celebrity:
- I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 18, The China Governess:
- ‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police […]? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?’
- (countable) A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.
- Not everybody has the same fears.
- I have a fear of ants.
- (uncountable) Extreme veneration or awe, as toward a supreme being or deity.
From Middle English feer, fere, fer, from Old English fǣr, ġefǣr (“calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack, terrible sight”), from Proto-Germanic *fērą (“danger”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to attempt, try, research, risk”). Cognate with Dutch gevaar (“danger, risk, peril”), German Gefahr (“danger, risk, hazard”), Swedish fara (“danger, risk, peril”), Latin perīculum (“danger, risk, trial”), Albanian frikë (“fear,danger”).
(third-person singular simple present fears, present participle fearing, simple past and past participle feared)
- Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
- To feel fear about (something); to be afraid of; to consider or expect with alarm.
- I fear the worst will happen.
- I fear for their safety.
- To venerate; to feel awe towards.
- I fear [regret that] I have bad news for you: your husband has died.
(comparative more fear, superlative most fear)
From Middle English fere, feore, from Old English fēre (“able to go, fit for service”), from Proto-Germanic *fōriz, *fōrijaz (“passable”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to put across, ferry”). Cognate with Scots fere, feir (“well, active, sound”), Middle High German gevüere (“able, capable, fit, serviceable”), Swedish för (“capable, able, stout”), Icelandic færr (“able”). Related to fare.