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 not just passengers who are afraid of flying - airline employees are fearful too.’
    • ‘Anyone who has nothing to be fearful of should not be afraid of the Customs Service.’
    • ‘It is now the political leaders who drove the politics of fear who look most afraid.’
    • ‘However, the truth is that in their heart of hearts, quite a few adults are afraid of deep water.’
    • ‘We cannot be afraid of the threat of foreign powers because times are changing.’
    • ‘They felt nervous about walking home in the dark; they were afraid of evil spirits.’
    • ‘True scholars are afraid of no hypothesis; they go where others fear to think.’
    • ‘Some are afraid of retaliation because they have been vocal proponents of peace.’
    • ‘In all her life she had never been afraid of a single man besides her father.’
    • ‘She says she's not afraid of death, she's just frightened of losing the people she loves.’
    • ‘He says that since starting the job he is less jumpy and no longer afraid of the dark.’
    • ‘He said today he was not afraid of competing with supermarkets but feared the effect on customer choice.’
    • ‘These men might be afraid of her now, but that fear would only last as long as she could keep her power flowing.’
    • ‘He was always very afraid of death and would have hoped for a miracle.’
    • ‘I know if it was me I would be frightened and would be afraid to go out after dark.’
    • ‘She explained she was afraid of having children because she feared she could not feed them.’
    • ‘They only have power if we believe they have, if we are afraid of them and we let our fear silence us.’
    • ‘True leaders are not afraid of telling the truth as they see it for fear of losing favor.’
    • ‘It has certainly exacerbated the extent to which people are afraid of terrorist attacks.’
    • ‘The greatest trick is to not to show that you are afraid of something.’
    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.
      ‘he was afraid that the farmer would send the dog after them’
      ‘she was afraid of antagonizing him’
      • ‘He is afraid that if his marking is challenged and an appeal conducted he will be held to have been discriminatory.’
      • ‘Another part of me is afraid that it's temporary and that I'm not going to be able to hold onto it.’
      • ‘We were afraid that the sunrise would not be as glorious as we'd wanted it to be because of the clouds.’
      • ‘Everyone is afraid that you'll write something damning about them for all to see.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that what he alludes to is only a possibility among others, and not in my view the most likely one.’
      • ‘I am afraid that the answer is one that people may not want to hear or even think about.’
      • ‘My arms hugged around me, as if I was suddenly afraid of him, as if I was afraid that he would hurt me.’
      • ‘He said that he was afraid that people would not come and stay around the town if there was a concert.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that I still break out in a cold sweat when Patricia's being masterful.’
      • ‘For example, we are afraid that if others knew the truth about us, they wouldn't like us.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that, when it comes right down to it, this is the one that's likely to be closest to the truth.’
      • ‘She was afraid that something might happen to her mum while she wasn't there.’
      • ‘I'm afraid that sulphur gives some people a headache and puts them off wine altogether.’
      • ‘I spent most of the film afraid that something terrible would happen to a child, explicitly or not.’
      • ‘We hope the future is better than the past, but we're afraid that the past could repeat itself.’
      • ‘I am afraid that now that I am a bit better things are not going to change much.’
      • ‘That cost us a lot of money and we were afraid that we would lose our connection with the public.’
      • ‘Now I am afraid that my right ear, which is almost normal, may also develop problems.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘They kill and maim people and are too afraid to take the consequences of their actions.’
      • ‘They're not afraid to slow their songs down, lose the bass and add a pretty vocal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In consequence we are becoming a tight-lipped silent majority afraid to rise above the parapet.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His new album, written after a nasty split with his fiancee, is so forlorn that the music press is afraid for his health.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I doubted my own sanity at times, and was afraid for what it really meant about me and my future.’
      • ‘She was afraid for him, and grateful for his presence in the world.’
      • ‘Sometimes the world seems a dark place; we feel uncertain about the present, and afraid for the future.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They're afraid for their life and perhaps something needs to be done.’
      • ‘He told police he was too afraid for himself and his family to tell the truth at first.’
      • ‘Many people could not understand what I saw in him and were actually afraid for my safety with him, especially my mother.’
      • ‘All of the court ladies that hadn't fainted were clinging to their partners, mortally afraid for their lives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was afraid for my eternal salvation all day every day, in every thought and deed.’
      • ‘Their names have not been disclosed because they are afraid for their lives.’
      • ‘After the attack she suffered pains in her stomach and was afraid for the health of her baby.’
      • ‘She appeared to be more concerned for the well-being of the other crewmembers than afraid for her own life.’

Phrases

  • I'm afraid

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

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