One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
frightened, scared, scared stiff, terrified, fearful, petrified, nervous, scared to deathView synonyms
- ‘He has a tale to tell and I'm afeared that our lives depend on us listening.’
- ‘Even the river critters were afeard of the monster!’
- ‘I would love to go, but I am afeared that a trip to Sydney is a wee bit out of my budget at this point.’
- ‘‘Lady,’ she croaked out, ‘I have ill tidings, and I am afeard.’’
- ‘Tonight I return to French class, and am all afeared at the thought I have started forgetting what I know.’
- ‘Some, having spotted her, could draw no closer than a distant gaze: they were afeard, they would admit later over ale.’
- ‘And I am afeared about what sort of photos of me are going to pop up on other people's sites.’
- ‘It's a clean hand now: shake it-don't be afeard.’
- ‘A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she's afeard of herself sometimes.’
- ‘The point is he was big and mean and everyone was afeared of him.’
Old English, from āfǣran ‘frighten’, from ā- (expressing intensity) + fǣran (see fear); used commonly by Shakespeare, but rarely after 1700 in written form.
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