Definition of fearful in English:

fearful

adjective

  • 1Feeling afraid; showing fear or anxiety.

    ‘bond traders have remained fearful of inflation’
    [with clause] ‘the mothers were fearful that their daughters would marry and move abroad’
    • ‘She was horrified by this show of affection and fearful of its consequences.’
    • ‘Everyone is fearful for his future, and fear leads people to do amazing, extraordinary things.’
    • ‘Some farmers are fearful that they are not being properly rewarded for the quality of the milk they produce.’
    • ‘She saw the looks of fearful people, but what they were afraid of she didn't know.’
    • ‘For example, over the past two decades I was excessively fearful of inflation.’
    • ‘Players are tentative and nervous, fearful that one missed shot or ugly turnover will earn them a seat on the bench.’
    • ‘Are you really fearful of being misinterpreted or are you just afraid to stand up for your constituents?’
    • ‘Just reading that list of cautions makes me fearful about ever leaving my two daughters home by themselves.’
    • ‘His characters are guilty and fearful, their predicaments horrendous.’
    • ‘Often the most panicked people are bystanders who become extremely fearful but have no outlet for that energy.’
    • ‘We stood locked in a battle of stares for a minute, my horrified expression gazing into her fearful one.’
    • ‘When you know who you are, there's no need to feel weird or threatened or fearful of people who aren't exactly like you.’
    • ‘Granted, most people would be afraid to interfere, fearful of the consequences.’
    • ‘When this area of our life is threatened we become fearful and disillusioned.’
    • ‘The current, ever-present threat of an imminent war can often make people feel fearful and powerless.’
    • ‘If we are fearful of the consequences of murder then we are not likely to carry out a murder and that is good and to be welcomed.’
    • ‘I have felt powerless, disgusted, frustrated, horrified and even fearful this week, all in equal measure.’
    • ‘But he's a timid child, fearful of water, heights, spiders, darkness and the great outdoors.’
    • ‘This lady points out her home here among the rubble, but she is afraid of being seen on camera, fearful of what may happen to her.’
    • ‘There's no question that at the time of the abduction she was in fear and was fearful for a period of time.’
    afraid, frightened, scared, scared stiff, scared to death, terrified, petrified
    nervous, trembling, quaking, quivering, shrinking, cowering, cowed, daunted
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    1. 1.1Causing or likely to cause people to be afraid; horrifying.
      ‘a fearful accident’
      • ‘The literature supports an Oedipal stage, but finds that a good superego is likely to come from a loving rather than a fearful relationship with a father.’
      • ‘There are no limits to our human ability to justify our fear for, in truth, the world is a fearful place.’
      • ‘It did not gain that influence by producing timid and fearful programmes.’
      • ‘When we are faced by a fearful situation it is human nature to hide our emotions behind a brave front and to smile when inside we are crying.’
      • ‘Bad experiences can lead to the development of fearful beliefs about the future - fears the past will be repeated if we act the same way again.’
      • ‘In spite of his fear he decides to accompany his master on this fearful adventure.’
      • ‘Among the nations there are fearful wars and dreadful diseases.’
      • ‘We are grieving not just for the dead but also for all our own fearful futures - the threat of war, more suffering and more fanatical hatred.’
      • ‘So we are intended to be relieved of the fear that our dying need be a fearful experience.’
      • ‘An Arab writer on the consequences of the Black Death for animals added another hideous dimension to our awareness of that fearful episode.’
      • ‘It came to mind that Christians who encountered Paul would have found him shocking and fearful.’
      • ‘Economists nevertheless refuse to be alarmed by fearful prognoses of deflation.’
      • ‘Call it by its real name and much of the fearful power of the thing is lost.’
      • ‘With fearful symmetry, ' terror ' has acquired a new meaning, too.’
      • ‘To the outside world, Chernobyl stands as a fearful accident and a catalogue of gross errors.’
  • 2informal Very great.

    ‘he could cause a fearful commotion’
    very great, great, extreme, real, dreadful
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Pronunciation:

fearful

/ˈfirfəl/