Definition of dread in English:

dread

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Anticipate with great apprehension or fear.

    ‘Jane was dreading the party’
    with infinitive ‘I dread to think what Russell will say’
    • ‘Her glance matched mine with apprehension, I dreaded what would come from her lips.’
    • ‘We dread to think what the punishment for ‘breaking’ this law will be.’
    • ‘If £7 represents ‘good value’ in the gloom of winter, I'd dread to think how they will value summer fare.’
    • ‘If this were a regular occurrence I would dread to think of what effect it would have on me.’
    • ‘Over the next few days William dreaded every knock at the door fearing that it may be the police, that they had been recognised.’
    • ‘Minorities, be they linguistic or religious, dread the assimilation as much as they fear exclusion.’
    • ‘Mary was a religious zealot, whose bloody reign confirmed the worst fears of those who dreaded female rule.’
    • ‘The rest of their mates looked on in apprehensive silence, dreading what would happen next.’
    • ‘The moment I had been dreading all week finally arrived - the hacks' party at Bute House.’
    • ‘She was filled with apprehension, dreading the near vertical drop.’
    • ‘He likes the pound being strong - most of his business is in the UK, but he buys machinery from overseas so a strong pound helps - and he dreads the increased bureaucracy closer ties with Europe could bring.’
    • ‘The moment they had been dreading and anticipating was upon them and there was no way to avoid it now.’
    • ‘I would dread to think that a scene such as the one I witnessed at the age of twelve could happen in a playground now.’
    • ‘And we dread to think how much money was paid to consultants to dream up this nonsense.’
    • ‘I fear that I will dread the same fears that burden me now.’
    • ‘I didn't know why, but for some reason I was dreading the dinner party the mistress was throwing on Saturday.’
    • ‘If there's one thing any parent dreads it's the thought of their children being caught up in drugs.’
    • ‘I had no chance to react and dread to think of the consequences had I been a few inches to the right hand side of the road.’
    • ‘You may dread going, fearing that you'll wind up weeping in public.’
    • ‘When I worked for the Labour Party we used to dread Easter week more than any other.’
    fear, be afraid of, worry about, be anxious about, have forebodings about, feel apprehensive about
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  • 2archaic Regard with great awe or reverence.

    ‘the man whom Henry dreaded as the future champion of English freedom’
    stand in awe of, regard with awe, revere, reverence, venerate, respect
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noun

  • 1mass noun Great fear or apprehension.

    ‘the thought of returning to London filled her with dread’
    in singular ‘I used to have a dread of Friday afternoons’
    • ‘This knowledge filled her with dread and excitement, fear and anticipation.’
    • ‘Immigration officers fill me with fear and dread.’
    • ‘Christy was filled with dread and fear, for she knew that if given the chance, Kevin would be true to his word.’
    • ‘Every scientist held an air of great anxiety and anticipation, yet also of fear, dread, and horror as they worked.’
    • ‘In common with all politicians, he has a dread of winter elections.’
    • ‘Is the experience associated with fear, dread, or elation?’
    • ‘I made a cup of coffee instead and quietly surfed through my daily blogs until that feeling of dread and apprehension began to fade.’
    • ‘And of course, revolution is coached in freedom or change, while terrorism is intended to instill fear and evoke dread.’
    • ‘We, as outsiders, do not know if they fought over this, if tears were shed, if threats were made, if their nights were filled with worry and dread.’
    • ‘He just wants to paralyze a nation, cause fear and panic and dread to become part of our everyday lives.’
    • ‘It is the strength of this desire that breeds his morbid dread of humiliation.’
    • ‘My stomach was a tight knot of dread, fear and something very close to the child-like terror I used to feel for the dark.’
    • ‘Her expression changed to one of pure fear and dread.’
    • ‘You can feel the fear, terror and dread emanating from her very subtle and realistic facial gestures.’
    • ‘However each disorder is bonded to the other disorders by the common theme of excessive, irrational fear and dread.’
    • ‘Apathy, fear, dread of moving on - all these things are components that contribute to this current approach of mine to writing this thesis.’
    • ‘Religion then consists in obeisance to these larger forces, to overcome our fear and dread of the future.’
    • ‘Panic, fear and dread take turns punching you in the solar plexus.’
    • ‘To the very degree that the countdown to his departure next summer seems, for years, to have be anticipated with a mix of fear and dread by the Celtic faithful.’
    • ‘Terror is an aggravated form of fear: intense fear, fright or dread.’
    • ‘And it's praying for the other captives and other families who are living in fear and dread.’
    • ‘Almost two years of apprehension, vague dread, and sheer frustration may be what ultimately gets the ball rolling again.’
    fear, fearfulness, apprehension, trepidation, anxiety, worry, concern, foreboding, disquiet, disquietude, unease, uneasiness, angst
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  • 2A sudden take-off and flight of a flock of gulls or other birds.

    ‘flocks of wood sandpiper, often excitable, noisy, and given to dreads’
  • 3informal A person with dreadlocks.

    ‘the band appeals to dreads and baldheads alike’
    • ‘Don't even think for a minute that the Rastafarians are only in the business of making mats and brooms… you ever see a fat dread yet?’
    • ‘Black, white, gay, straight, punks, dreads, skinheads, boys and girls, we had totally connected with militant anti-racist youth.’
    1. 3.1dreads Dreadlocks.
      ‘Lyon combed his fingers through Curtis' dreads’
      • ‘He then proceeded to cut off all my dreads until I was left with messy short blondish hair with brown roots.’
      • ‘Most of the people were college students, their Mohawks, pixie-cuts, dreads, just bobbing in anticipation of being with more teenagers.’
      • ‘And on the subject of my hair, well Ace said it was ‘disgusting’ and that I looked like even more of a hippy with the shaved back and sides than I did with all the dreads.’
      • ‘He wanted me to cut my dreads, for instance, and I was always in the back row.’
      • ‘He never speaks (or at least hasn't in my company), and despite his bum-length dreads and army wear, seems to blend quite easily into the blur of Ednburgh life.’
      • ‘Part of the style in the photo seems to be using an oversize cap, but that may just be necessary because of the dreads.’
      • ‘Charli is my favourite and probably dates someone with dreads.’
      • ‘‘A pretty girl like you shouldn't be sitting all by herself,’ a tall guy with light brown hair done up in dreads said, looking down at me.’
      • ‘When I put mine in dreads, it was long and wavy and a little frizzy.’
      • ‘It seems that uni's a short interim period where you can grow your mullet long, propagate a fine crop of dreads, and hold generally left-wing opinions if that's your bag.’
      • ‘I had dreads for five years and long hair for most of my life, and you hold everything in them, like emotionally and spiritually - in the locks.’
      • ‘We get a mixture of folk at our gigs from crusty punks with dreads to spiky tops in studded jackets and good anti-fascist skins and we don't judge anyone on their appearance - they are all welcome.’
      • ‘After the takeover, he began growing dreadlocks; five months later, they are still baby dreads, but as his exile lengthens, so do the tendrils.’
      • ‘We did our hair up in braids 'cause they had dreads, and would always rock the black hoodies and all that.’
      • ‘I was the crazy one with dreads who showed you some pictures on a digital camera.’
      • ‘He re-tied his dreads in a loose ponytail, which flopped over his left shoulder.’
      • ‘She is plaiting Duck's hair into dreads for the performance and laughing and joking, playing around on the lighting deck.’
      • ‘P had dirty blonde dreads, shocking front teeth, and a scabby old dog which gave us all scabies.’
      • ‘He walked over to a scary looking guy with a ponytail who was talking to another semi-intimidating guy with dreads.’
      • ‘Lose the Iverson braids and shoulder-length dreads.’

adjective

  • 1attributive Greatly feared; dreadful.

    ‘he was stricken with the dread disease and died’
    • ‘Medicine had conquered the dread infectious diseases that once cut swathes through entire populations.’
    • ‘A Caucasian Chalk Circle for our own age, it begins with the howl of death mingled with dread despair and ends with an act of terrible tenderness.’
    • ‘While the world has been saved from epidemics of dread diseases, some of today's children are being sacrificed.’
    • ‘Under this same heading, the so-called dread disease cover also is an important benefit one can add to a conventional life assurance policy.’
    • ‘By 1957, another dread disease was all but conquered: acute anterior poliomyelitis, which might cripple for life those it did not kill.’
    • ‘Second, compassion for gross suffering compels us to continue investigating genetic therapy for dread diseases.’
    • ‘Advances in medicine are increasing life expectancy and diseases which are dread killers today will be curable tomorrow.’
    • ‘While he may have settled into what we may define a ‘normal’ life, he forever lives in the dread fear that one day, he may wake up to find the fruit bandit has struck again.’
    • ‘People still shrink from the terrible word cancer, even if they themselves have not been diagnosed with this dread disease.’
    • ‘With the air-conditioning switched off, it was becoming hot and stuffy in the confined cabin space, and only there did I really begin to feel the dread hand of fear.’
    • ‘During the 15th century, a parasite in the wheat was causing a dread disease for which there was no cure.’
    • ‘Somehow I think that if there was a war on, this dread disease could be cured with remarkable ease.’
    • ‘If we can safely deliver ourselves and our descendants from certain dread diseases, we should probably do so.’
    • ‘Aging aside, lifestyle will go a long way toward determining whether you'll succumb to this dread disease.’
    • ‘However, when he arrived he had the dread symptoms of the disease.’
    • ‘We still suggest woolen hoods for the Fourth of July picnics, but you can open a window now without fear of dread contagion.’
    • ‘In other words, men face a 70% higher risk of dying from this dread disease.’
    • ‘I thought it was her nature, but when she got over the dread disease she had brought into the home… her true nature came out.’
    • ‘He met the prognosis head on - and won his fight against the dread disease.’
    • ‘If you're ready to live like a hermit for a while, you'll probably not be unlucky enough to catch the dread disease before it becomes widely known.’
    awful, feared, frightening, alarming, terrifying, frightful, terrible, horrible, dreadful, dire
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  • 2archaic attributive Regarded with awe; greatly revered.

    ‘that dread being we dare oppose’
    awe-inspiring, awesome, impressive, amazing
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Origin

Old English ādrǣdan, ondrǣdan, of West Germanic origin; related to Old High German intrātan.

Pronunciation

dread

/drɛd/