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afraid

Syllabification: a·fraid
Pronunciation: /əˈfrād
 
/

Definition of afraid in English:

adjective

[predicative]
1Feeling fear or anxiety; frightened: I’m afraid of dogs she tried to think about the future without feeling afraid
More example sentences
  • It has certainly exacerbated the extent to which people are afraid of terrorist attacks.
  • 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.
Synonyms
frightened, scared, terrified, fearful, petrified, scared witless, scared to death, terror-stricken, terror-struck, frightened out of one's wits, scared out of one's wits, shaking in one's shoes, shaking like a leaf;
intimidated, alarmed, panicky;
faint-hearted, cowardly
informal scared stiff, in a cold sweat, spooked
chicken
archaic afeared, affrighted
1.1Worried 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
More example sentences
  • My arms hugged around me, as if I was suddenly afraid of him, as if I was afraid that he would hurt me.
  • 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.
1.2 [with infinitive] Unwilling or reluctant to do something for fear of the consequences: I’m often afraid to go out on the streets
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • In consequence we are becoming a tight-lipped silent majority afraid to rise above the parapet.
Synonyms
reluctant, hesitant, unwilling, disinclined, loath, slow, chary, shy
1.3 (afraid for) Anxious about the well-being or safety of someone or something: William was suddenly afraid for her
More example sentences
  • Many people could not understand what I saw in him and were actually afraid for my safety with him, especially my mother.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Origin

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

More
  • affray from (Middle English):

    Although an affray is now a disturbance of the peace caused by fighting in a public place, its first meaning was ‘alarm, fright or terror’ or ‘frighten’. Its root is the old Norman French word afrayer, which also gives us afraid (Middle English).

Phrases

I'm afraid

1
[with clause] Used to express polite or formal apology or regret: I’m afraid I don’t understand
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • This non-stop preoccupation with health matters is terribly boring, I'm afraid.
  • Sparkling wit and scintillating conversation are not likely to be my forté today, I'm afraid.
Synonyms
sorry, sad, distressed, regretful, apologetic

Definition of afraid in:

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