American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Filled with fear: afraid of ghosts; afraid to die; afraid for his life.
- adj. Having feelings of aversion or unwillingness in regard to something: not afraid of hard work; afraid to show emotion.
- adj. Filled with regret or concern. Used especially to soften an unpleasant statement: I'm afraid you're wrong.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Impressed with fear or apprehension; fearful: followed by of before the object of fear, where that is not an infinitive: as, to be afraid of death; I am afraid to go.
- Synonyms Afraid, Frightened, Terrified, timid, shy, apprehensive, troubled, suspicious, distrustful. Afraid expresses a less degree of fear than frightened or terrified, which describe outward states. In colloquial language, I am afraid is often nearly equivalent to I suspect, I am inclined to think, or the like, and is regularly used as a kind of polite introduction to a correction, objection, etc., or to make a statement sound less positive: as, I am afraid you are wrong; I am afraid that argument won't hold.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Afraid comes after the noun it limits. Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear; apprehensive.
- adj. filled with regret or concern; used often to soften an unpleasant statement
- adj. having feelings of aversion or unwillingness
- adj. feeling worry or concern or insecurity
- adj. filled with fear or apprehension
- From Middle English affrayed, affraied, past participle of afraien ("to affray"), from Anglo-Norman afrayer ("to terrify, disquiet, disturb"), from Old French effreer, esfreer ("to disturb, remove the peace from"), from es- ("ex-") + freer ("to secure, secure the peace"), from Frankish *friþu (“security, peace”), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (“peace”), from Proto-Germanic *frijōnan (“to free; to love”), from Proto-Indo-European *prāy-, *prēy- (“to like, love”). Compare also afeard. More at free, friend. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English affraied, past participle of affraien, to frighten, from Old French esfraier, esfreer, to disturb, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Well if Hope/Change/Hope/Change is a broken record what the heck is * be afraid, be very afraid*?”
“Captain, we have had hard times of it out there, but _don't be afraid, don't be afraid_.”
“Let him go, and he will walk the streets with a swagger, and boast that you were afraid to touch him -- _afraid_, gentlemen -- and children and women will point after him as the man who has sent nine others into eternity, and who yet walks the streets a free man.”
“And I'm afraid of what'll come to the child without me; I'm _afraid_, Mr. Peter.”
“I'll tell you something I want you to do and you're afraid to do it -- you're _afraid_.”
“I'm afraid -- I'm _afraid_ we couldn't allow you to be a mere figurehead.”
“I'm afraid, my dear Mirliflor," said Queen Selina, "I'm _afraid_ you can't see her before you go.”
“Mr. Ashburn, if you can't say anything more than this -- anything, you understand, which puts you in a position to treat with us, I'm afraid -- I'm _afraid_ I must ask time to think over this.”
“_ -- Do not be afraid to think of it; on the contrary, do think of it, but to say to it, "I am not _afraid_ of you.”
“On the threshold he lingers -- he seems afraid -- _afraid_ to approach.”
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