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afraid

[uh-freyd] /əˈfreɪd/
adjective
1.
feeling fear; filled with apprehension:
afraid to go.
2.
feeling regret, unhappiness, or the like:
I'm afraid we can't go on Monday.
3.
feeling reluctance, unwillingness, distaste, or the like:
He seemed afraid to show his own children a little kindness.
Origin
variant spelling of affrayed, past participle of affray to disturb, frighten
Related forms
half-afraid, adjective
unafraid, adjective
Synonyms
1. scared, fearful, disquieted, apprehensive, timid, timorous. Afraid, alarmed, frightened, terrified all indicate a state of fear. Afraid implies inner apprehensive disquiet: afraid of the dark. Alarmed implies that the feelings are aroused through realization of some imminent or unexpected danger to oneself or others: alarmed by (or about ) someone's illness. Frightened means shocked with sudden, but usually short-lived, fear, especially that arising from apprehension of physical harm: frightened by an accident. Terrified suggests the emotional reaction when one is struck with a violent, overwhelming fear: terrified by an earthquake.
Antonyms
1. bold, confident, fearless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for afraid
  • She and her fearful fellows may have good reason to be afraid.
  • There are so many fearful things that happen, so much uncertainty, but they are never afraid.
  • At some point, the overworked and the unemployed are likely to be more angry than afraid.
  • For example, if he is afraid of swimming, teach him how fun it is to play in the water.
  • And they have to be more afraid of those consequences than of allowing someone different to flourish in their midst.
  • Children are afraid of shots, but their parents are supposed to know better.
  • Back then, the state was not afraid to take its fair share of corporate profits to pay for higher education.
  • But don't be afraid to handhold at slow shutter speeds-the serendipitous effects can be wonderful.
  • Predators have to be managed and made afraid of humans to keep them at a safe distance.
  • Don't be afraid to introduce bright red to a traditional home.
British Dictionary definitions for afraid

afraid

/əˈfreɪd/
adjective (postpositive)
1.
(often foll by of) feeling fear or apprehension; frightened: he was afraid of cats
2.
reluctant (to do something), as through fear or timidity: he was afraid to let himself go
3.
often foll by that; used to lessen the effect of an unpleasant statement. regretful: I'm afraid that I shall have to tell you to go
Word Origin
C14: affraied, past participle of affray (to frighten)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afraid
adj.

early 14c., originally past participle of afray "frighten," from Anglo-French afrayer, from Old French esfreer (see affray (n.)). A rare case of an English adjective that never stands before a noun. Because it was used in A.V. Bible, it acquired independent standing and thrived while affray faded, chasing out the once more common afeared. Sense in I'm afraid "I regret to say, I suspect" (without implication of fear) is first recorded 1590s.

Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone [Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes," 1820]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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