Word Origin & History
O.E. fær "danger, peril," from P.Gmc. *færa (cf. O.S. far "ambush," O.N. far "harm, distress, deception," Ger. Gefahr "danger"), from PIE base *per- "to try, risk, come over, go through" (perhaps connected with Gk. peira "trial, attempt, experience," L. periculum "trial, risk, danger"). Sense
of "uneasiness caused by possible danger" developed late 12c. The verb is from O.E. færan "terrify, frighten," originally transitive (sense preserved in archaic I fear me). Sense of "feel fear" is late 14c. Related: Feared; fearing. O.E. words for "fear" as we now use it were ege, fyrhto; as a verb, ondrædan.