fearful
adjective Date: 14th century 1. causing or likely to cause fear, fright, or alarm especially because of dangerous quality <
a fearful storm
>
2. a. full of fear <
fearful for his safety
>
b. indicating or arising from fear <
a fearful glance
>
c. inclined to fear ; timorous 3. very great or bad — used as an intensive <
a fearful waste
>
<
fearful slum conditions
>
fearfully adverbfearfulness noun Synonyms: 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
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fearful — 1 Fearful, apprehensive, afraid are comparable when they mean inspired or moved by fear. In such use they are normally followed by of, that, or lest, afraid being never and fearful and apprehensive infrequently used attributively in this sense.… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fearful — fearful, fearsome 1. Fearful means ‘full of fear; frightened, apprehensive’, usually with reference to something specific, and is normally followed by of or by a clause introduced by that or lest: • Eisenhower s official policy was to remain… …   Modern English usage

  • Fearful — Fear ful (f[=e]r f[.u]l), a. 1. Full of fear, apprehension, or alarm; afraid; frightened. [1913 Webster] Anxious amidst all their success, and fearful amidst all their power. Bp. Warburton. [1913 Webster] 2. Inclined to fear; easily frightened;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fearful — [fir′fəl] adj. 1. causing fear; terrifying; dreadful 2. feeling fear; afraid 3. showing or resulting from fear [a fearful look] 4. Informal very bad, offensive, great, etc. [a fearful liar] SYN. AFRAID fearfulness n …   English World dictionary

  • fearful — [adj1] alarmed, apprehensive aflutter, afraid, aghast, agitated, anxious, chicken, chickenhearted*, diffident, discomposed, disquieted, disturbed, fainthearted, frightened, goosebumpy*, have cold feet*, hesitant, in a dither*, intimidated,… …   New thesaurus

  • fearful — index dire, formidable, ineffable, ominous, pending (imminent), portentous (ominous), recreant …   Law dictionary

  • fearful — mid 14c., “causing fear,” from FEAR (Cf. fear) + FUL (Cf. ful). Meaning “full of fear, timid” (now less common) also is from mid 14c. As a mere emphatic, from 1630s. Related: Fearfully; fearfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • fearful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) showing or causing fear. 2) informal very great. DERIVATIVES fearfully adverb fearfulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • fearful — [[t]fɪ͟ə(r)fʊl[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu v link ADJ, oft ADJ of n, ADJ that If you are fearful of something, you are afraid of it. [FORMAL] Bankers were fearful of a world banking crisis... I had often been very fearful, very angry, and very… …   English dictionary

  • fearful — fearfully, adv. fearfulness, n. /fear feuhl/, adj. 1. causing or apt to cause fear; frightening: a fearful apparition. 2. feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude: fearful for his life; fearful lest he commit suicide. 3. full of awe or… …   Universalium

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