Definition of afraid in English:

afraid

adjective

  • 1predicative Feeling fear or anxiety; frightened.

    ‘I'm afraid of dogs’
    ‘she tried to think about the future without feeling afraid’
    • ‘It is now the political leaders who drove the politics of fear who look most afraid.’
    • ‘The greatest trick is to not to show that you are afraid of something.’
    • ‘She says she's not afraid of death, she's just frightened of losing the people she loves.’
    • ‘However, the truth is that in their heart of hearts, quite a few adults are afraid of deep water.’
    • ‘It has certainly exacerbated the extent to which people are afraid of terrorist attacks.’
    • ‘He said today he was not afraid of competing with supermarkets but feared the effect on customer choice.’
    • ‘I know if it was me I would be frightened and would be afraid to go out after dark.’
    • ‘They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits.’
    • ‘Some are afraid of retaliation because they have been vocal proponents of peace.’
    • ‘True leaders are not afraid of telling the truth as they see it for fear of losing favor.’
    • ‘He was always very afraid of death and would have hoped for a miracle.’
    • ‘She explained she was afraid of having children because she feared she could not feed them.’
    • ‘These men might be afraid of her now, but that fear would only last as long as she could keep her power flowing.’
    • ‘Anyone who has nothing to be fearful of should not be afraid of the Customs Service.’
    • ‘True scholars are afraid of no hypothesis; they go where others fear to think.’
    • ‘In all her life she had never been afraid of a single man besides her father.’
    • ‘They only have power if we believe they have, if we are afraid of them and we let our fear silence us.’
    • ‘We cannot be afraid of the threat of foreign powers because times are changing.’
    • ‘It is not just passengers who are afraid of flying - airline employees are fearful too.’
    • ‘He says that since starting the job he is less jumpy and no longer afraid of the dark.’
    frightened, scared, scared stiff, terrified, fearful, petrified, nervous, scared to death
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Worried that something undesirable will occur or be done.
      ‘she was afraid that he would be angry’
      • ‘Everyone is afraid that you'll write something damning about them for all to see.’
      • ‘We were afraid that the sunrise would not be as glorious as we'd wanted it to be because of the clouds.’
      • ‘We all understand self-indulgence but are afraid that self-denial might be beyond us.’
      • ‘It got a lot of media attention, and local art officials were afraid that too many people would show up to watch.’
      • ‘He said that he was afraid that people would not come and stay around the town if there was a concert.’
      • ‘My arms hugged around me, as if I was suddenly afraid of him, as if I was afraid that he would hurt me.’
      • ‘I spent most of the film afraid that something terrible would happen to a child, explicitly or not.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that sulphur gives some people a headache and puts them off wine altogether.’
      • ‘That cost us a lot of money and we were afraid that we would lose our connection with the public.’
      • ‘We hope the future is better than the past, but we're afraid that the past could repeat itself.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that, when it comes right down to it, this is the one that's likely to be closest to the truth.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that what he alludes to is only a possibility among others, and not in my view the most likely one.’
      • ‘Another part of me is afraid that it's temporary and that I'm not going to be able to hold onto it.’
      • ‘For example, we are afraid that if others knew the truth about us, they wouldn't like us.’
      • ‘He is afraid that if his marking is challenged and an appeal conducted he will be held to have been discriminatory.’
      • ‘Now I am afraid that my right ear, which is almost normal, may also develop problems.’
      • ‘I am afraid that the answer is one that people may not want to hear or even think about.’
      • ‘I am afraid that now that I am a bit better things are not going to change much.’
      • ‘She was afraid that something might happen to her mum while she wasn't there.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that I still break out in a cold sweat when Patricia's being masterful.’
    2. 1.2with infinitive Unwilling or reluctant to do something for fear of the consequences.
      ‘I'm often afraid to go out on the streets’
      • ‘In consequence we are becoming a tight-lipped silent majority afraid to rise above the parapet.’
      • ‘They're not afraid to slow their songs down, lose the bass and add a pretty vocal.’
      • ‘They kill and maim people and are too afraid to take the consequences of their actions.’
      • ‘Like a doctor afraid to frighten a patient with a truthful diagnosis, it doesn't say half enough.’
      • ‘I was afraid to look. I opened my eyes and saw my husband on his knees in a pile of glass, holding his face in his hands.’
      reluctant, unwilling, disinclined, loath, slow
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3afraid for Anxious about the well-being or safety of.
      ‘William was suddenly afraid for her’
      • ‘People are afraid of the thieves and afraid for their future.’
      • ‘She appeared to be more concerned for the well-being of the other crewmembers than afraid for her own life.’
      • ‘The reason he had not offered information concerning where he had obtained the drugs was because he was genuinely afraid for his safety if he did so.’
      • ‘That mobile phone companies should find themselves weakened just as the sector was about take off makes many afraid for its future stability.’
      • ‘Their names have not been disclosed because they are afraid for their lives.’
      • ‘Their victims included a deaf and dumb couple who lost about £160 in the burglary and are now so afraid for their safety they want to move.’
      • ‘He told police he was too afraid for himself and his family to tell the truth at first.’
      • ‘Moving closer she put her arms around his tense body, afraid for him.’
      • ‘If people were desperately afraid for their personal security, there would be exactly such movements.’
      • ‘She was afraid for him, and grateful for his presence in the world.’
      • ‘All of the court ladies that hadn't fainted were clinging to their partners, mortally afraid for their lives.’
      • ‘Fear has an enormous hold over people; they will do almost anything if they are afraid for themselves or their loved ones.’
      • ‘My 16-year-old daughter was in the shop and I was afraid for her safety.’
      • ‘They're afraid for their life and perhaps something needs to be done.’
      • ‘I was afraid for my eternal salvation all day every day, in every thought and deed.’
      • ‘His new album, written after a nasty split with his fiancee, is so forlorn that the music press is afraid for his health.’
      • ‘Many people could not understand what I saw in him and were actually afraid for my safety with him, especially my mother.’
      • ‘Sometimes the world seems a dark place; we feel uncertain about the present, and afraid for the future.’
      • ‘I doubted my own sanity at times, and was afraid for what it really meant about me and my future.’
      • ‘After the attack she suffered pains in her stomach and was afraid for the health of her baby.’

Phrases

  • I'm afraid

    • with clauseUsed to express polite or formal apology or regret.

      ‘I'm afraid I don't understand’
      • ‘Unfortunately, it's nothing as sensible and well thought out as that I'm afraid.’
      • ‘Unfortunate timing, I'm afraid, in that it happened to be my wedding anniversary.’
      • ‘Those who advocate other methods are again showing their ignorance, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘I know I should start to share the comings and goings of the trip but I need to take another day off, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘I've never read the book, I'm afraid to say and didn't understand this question at first.’
      • ‘With the amount of money that is being spent on them, this is entirely possible, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘After having surgery on a knee injury, I'm afraid to say that's my season over with.’
      • ‘One or two of the author's accounts are not very interesting at all, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘It's back to lining up to see your diabetic specialist on a regular basis, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘You always want more, of course, because it's a numbers game, I'm afraid to say.’
      • ‘But all is not what it seems I'm afraid and she now feels she may have made the move in haste.’
      • ‘This might do in the infants, but I'm afraid by the sixth form we expect something a little more sophisticated.’
      • ‘It'll have to be a new one, I'm afraid, or nearly new, and from a proper dealer with a good reputation to protect.’
      • ‘And I'm afraid that from now on I shall have to turn my hand at the removal of unwanted comments.’
      • ‘The other players, I'm afraid to say, are a modest team who have absolutely no chance of winning the World Cup.’
      • ‘Sparkling wit and scintillating conversation are not likely to be my forté today, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘This non-stop preoccupation with health matters is terribly boring, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘There doesn't seem to be much joined up thinking on the matter, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘And I'm afraid that the new leader simply doesn't have the charisma to carry it off.’
      • ‘Another quiet month I'm afraid, which means too much time spent on here.’
      sorry, sad, distressed, regretful, apologetic, unhappy, remorseful, rueful
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: past participle of the obsolete verb affray, from Anglo-Norman French afrayer (see affray).

Pronunciation

afraid

/əˈfreɪd/