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fearful

[feer-fuh l] /ˈfɪər fəl/
adjective
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 reverence:
fearful of the Lord.
4.
showing or caused by fear:
fearful behavior.
5.
extreme in size, intensity, or badness:
a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English ferful. See fear, -ful
Related forms
fearfully, adverb
fearfulness, noun
overfearful, adjective
overfearfully, adverb
overfearfulness, noun
prefearful, adjective
prefearfully, adverb
unfearful, adjective
unfearfully, adverb
unfearfulness, noun
Can be confused
fearful, fearsome.
Synonyms
2. afraid, timid, timorous, apprehensive, uneasy, distrustful; solicitous, anxious, concerned, worried.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pre-fearful

fearful

/ˈfɪəfʊl/
adjective
1.
having fear; afraid
2.
causing fear; frightening
3.
(informal) very unpleasant or annoying: a fearful cold
Derived Forms
fearfulness, noun
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 pre-fearful

fearful

adj.

mid-14c., "causing fear," from fear + -ful. Meaning "full of fear, timid" (now less common) also is from mid-14c. As a mere emphatic, from 1630s. Related: Fearfully; fearfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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