- 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.
From Middle English feren, from Old English fǣran (“to frighten, raven”), from Old English fǣr, ġefǣr (“calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack, terrible sight”). See above.
(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.