Fear definition

fîr
A reason for dread or apprehension.

Being alone is my greatest fear.

noun
26
7
To be afraid or frightened of.

A boy who fears spiders.

verb
21
6
A feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc.; timidity; dread; terror; fright; apprehension.
noun
17
4
A feeling of disquiet or apprehension.

A fear of looking foolish.

noun
14
5
To revere or be in awe of (a deity, for example).
verb
5
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To be uneasy or apprehensive about.

We all feared what we would see when the grades were posted.

verb
6
2
To be afraid.

Your injury is minor. Don't fear.

verb
6
2
Respectful dread; awe; reverence.
noun
5
2
To consider probable; expect.

I fear you are wrong. I fear I have bad news for you.

verb
4
1
To expect with misgiving; suspect.

I fear I am late.

verb
4
2
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To be uneasy or apprehensive.

We fear for the future of the business.

verb
3
1
(obs.) To fill with fear; frighten.
verb
3
2
To feel fear; be afraid.
verb
3
2
To be uneasy, anxious, or doubtful.
verb
3
2
To be afraid of; dread.
verb
2
1
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A feeling of uneasiness or apprehension; concern.

A fear that it will rain.

noun
3
3
(place) Cape on an island off the SE coast of N.C.
proper name
1
1
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.

verb
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0
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.

noun
0
0
Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a deity.
noun
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0
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A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger.

Our fears intensified as the storm approached.

noun
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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.

noun
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​(uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
  • 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?’.

He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.

noun
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(uncountable) Extreme veneration or awe, as toward a supreme being or deity.
noun
0
0
Shakespeare.

Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.

verb
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To venerate; to feel awe towards.

People who fear God can be found in Christian churches.

verb
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0
Regret.

I fear [regret that] I have bad news for you: your husband has died.

verb
0
0
(dialectal) Able; capable; stout; strong; sound.

Hale and fear.

adjective
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0
(countable) A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.

Not everybody has the same fears.

I have a fear of ants.

noun
0
1
​ 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.

verb
0
1
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To feel reverence or awe for.
verb
2
4
A cause for fear; possibility; chance.

There was no fear of difficulty.

noun
1
3
for fear of
  • in order to avoid or prevent; lest
idiom
0
2

Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of fear - feer

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
fear
Plural:
fears

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of fear

  • Middle English fer from Old English fǣr danger, sudden calamity per-3 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary