Definition of fearful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɪəfʊl/
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪəf(ə)l/


1Feeling or showing fear or anxiety: they are fearful of the threat of nuclear war [with clause]: he’s fearful that his career is over
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, scared stiff, scared to death, terrified, petrified;
alarmed, panicky, nervous, tense, apprehensive, uneasy, hesitant, disquieted, worried, worried sick, anxious;
British  nervy
informal jittery, jumpy, in a (blue) funk
dialect  frit
archaic afeared, affrighted
British  nervy
informal jittery, jumpy, twitchy, keyed up, yellow, chicken, in a cold sweat, a bundle of nerves, like a cat on a hot tin roof, frightened of one's own shadow
North American informal spooked, spooky, antsy
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.
2 informal Very great: he was in a fearful hurry
very great, great, extreme, real, dreadful
informal terrible, impossible
British informal right, proper



Pronunciation: /ˈfɪəfʊlnəs/
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪəf(ə)lnəs/
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

Line breaks: fear|ful

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