Definition of fearful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfirfəl/


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
More example sentences
  • There's no question that at the time of the abduction she was in fear and was fearful for a period of time.
  • For example, over the past two decades I was excessively fearful of inflation.
  • Everyone is fearful for his future, and fear leads people to do amazing, extraordinary things.
afraid, frightened, scared (stiff), scared to death, terrified, petrified;
alarmed, panicky, nervous, tense, apprehensive, uneasy, worried (sick), anxious
informal jittery, jumpy
nervous, trembling, quaking, cowed, daunted;
timid, timorous, faint-hearted
informal jittery, jumpy, twitchy, trepidatious, keyed up, in a cold sweat, a bundle of nerves
informal spooked
1.1Causing or likely to cause people to be afraid; horrifying: a fearful accident
More example sentences
  • To the outside world, Chernobyl stands as a fearful accident and a catalogue of gross errors.
  • 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.
horrific, terrible, dreadful, awful, appalling, frightful, ghastly, horrible, horrifying, horrendous, terribly bad, shocking, atrocious, abominable, hideous, monstrous, gruesome
2 informal Very great: he could cause a fearful commotion



Pronunciation: /ˈfirfəlnəs/
Example sentences
  • Dread, trepidation or even uneasiness suggest a fearfulness that has mostly dissipated.
  • At its heart is fear, and fearfulness is increasingly part of the experience of life within it.
  • Emotional impairments may include apathy, irritability, anxiety, fearfulness and depression.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fear·ful

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