from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
  • n. A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in fear.
  • n. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
  • n. Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
  • n. A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.
  • transitive v. To be afraid or frightened of.
  • transitive v. To be uneasy or apprehensive about: feared the test results.
  • transitive v. To be in awe of; revere.
  • transitive v. To consider probable; expect: I fear you are wrong. I fear I have bad news for you.
  • transitive v. Archaic To feel fear within (oneself).
  • intransitive v. To be afraid.
  • intransitive v. To be uneasy or apprehensive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Able; capable; stout; strong; sound.
  • n. A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
  • n. A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.
  • n. Extreme veneration or awe, as toward a supreme being or deity.
  • v. To cause fear to; to frighten.
  • v. To feel fear about (something).
  • v. To venerate; to feel awe towards.
  • v. Regret

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A variant of fere, a mate, a companion.
  • n. A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread.
  • n.
  • n. Apprehension of incurring, or solicitude to avoid, God's wrath; the trembling and awful reverence felt toward the Supreme Being.
  • n. Respectful reverence for men of authority or worth.
  • n. That which causes, or which is the object of, apprehension or alarm; source or occasion of terror; danger; dreadfulness.
  • intransitive v. To be in apprehension of evil; to be afraid; to feel anxiety on account of some expected evil.
  • transitive v. To feel a painful apprehension of; to be afraid of; to consider or expect with emotion of alarm or solicitude.
  • transitive v. To have a reverential awe of; to be solicitous to avoid the displeasure of.
  • transitive v. To be anxious or solicitous for; now replaced by fear for.
  • transitive v. To suspect; to doubt.
  • transitive v. To affright; to terrify; to drive away or prevent approach of by fear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To frighten; affright; terrify; drive away or keep away by fear.
  • To feel a painful apprehension of, as some impending evil; be afraid of; consider or expect with emotions of alarm or solicitude.
  • To reverence; have a reverential awe of; venerate.
  • To have fear for; have anxiety about; be solicitous for.
  • To be frightened; be afraid; be in apprehension of evil; feel anxiety on account of some expected evil.
  • To be in anxious uncertainty; doubt.
  • Able; capable; stout; strong; sound: as, hale and fear (whole and entire, well and sound).
  • n. A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil or harm, and accompanied by a strong desire to escape it; an active feeling of dread of which fright and terror are the intenser degrees; hence, apprehension or dread in general.
  • n. Anxiety; solicitude.
  • n. A cause or object of fear.
  • n. Formidableness; aptness to cause fear.
  • n. Reverence; respect for rightful authority; especially, reverence manifesting itself in obedience.
  • n. Synonyms See alarm. Concern, dread. Veneration, reverence, awe.
  • n. See feer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be sorry; used to introduce an unpleasant statement
  • v. be uneasy or apprehensive about
  • n. an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)
  • v. be afraid or scared of; be frightened of
  • n. an anxious feeling
  • v. be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event
  • n. a feeling of profound respect for someone or something
  • v. regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of


Middle English fer, from Old English fǣr, danger, sudden calamity.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English feer, fere, fer, from Old English fǣr, ġefǣr ("calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack, terrible sight"), from Proto-Germanic *fēran (“danger”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to attempt, try, research, risk”). Cognate with Dutch gevaar ("danger, risk, peril"), German Gefahr ("danger, risk, hazard"), Swedish fara ("danger, risk, peril"), Latin perīculum ("danger, risk, trial"). Albanian frikë ("fear,danger") and Romanian frǐca ("fear") are also cognates, although probably influenced by an early Germanic variant. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English feren, from Old English fǣran ("to frighten, raven"), from Old English fǣr, ġefǣr ("calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack, terrible sight"). See above. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English fere, feore, from Old English fēre ("able to go, fit for service"), from Proto-Germanic *fōriz, *fōrjaz (“passable”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to put across, ferry”). Cognate with Scots fere, feir ("well, active, sound"), Middle High German gevüere ("able, capable, fit, serviceable"), Swedish för ("capable, able, stout"), Icelandic færr ("able"). Related to fare. (Wiktionary)


  • Where one protasis is followed by another opposed in meaning, but affirmative in form, the second is introduced by sīn; as, -- hunc mihi timōrem ēripe; sī vērus est, nē opprimar, sīn falsus, ut timēre dēsinam, _relieve me of this fear; if it is well founded, that I may not be destroyed; but if it is groundless, that I may cease to fear_.

    New Latin Grammar

  • Shall it be of that famous Saplana who runneth away to put himself in hiding; -- for fear -- _verily for fear_ -- the Commander of Famagosta! afraid to die like

    The Royal Pawn of Venice A Romance of Cyprus

  • I remember that I broke forth with words like these—“I do not fear, my soul does not fear”; and at the same time I found the strength to rise.

    The Haunted and the Haunters: Or the House and the Brain

  • He had only to dare; and pain and poverty and fear -- above all else _fear_ -- would end forever! ...

    The Flaming Jewel

  • In the fourth place, the feeling and principle of fear ought to enter into the experience of both youth and manhood, _because it relieves from all other fear_.

    Sermons to the Natural Man

  • I never in all my life had so little fear of man: I had _no fear_ then.

    Canadian Wild Flowers

  • I fear, * fear*, that we are fast approaching a time of national revolution.

    Theodore's World

  • _fear, love, and obey_; and we must have the fulfilment of the first two before we can expect the latter, and it is by our philosophy of creating fear, love and confidence, that we govern to our will every kind of a horse whatever.

    The Arabian Art of Taming and Training Wild and Vicious Horses

  • And against these on the one side, and the Brother Sodoms on the other, I shall interrupt my story to put this chapter under shelter of that wise remark of the great Dr. Adam Clark, who says "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the terror of God confounds the soul;" and that other saying of his: "With the _fear_ of

    The Hoosier Schoolmaster A Story of Backwoods Life in Indiana

  • But, I see, you have some religion in you, that you fear] _You are a friend_ to the lady, _and therein the wiser_, as you will not expose her to hazard; and that you _fear_, is a proof of your _religious_ fidelity.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "ignorance is bliss cherish it"-flyleaf

    August 18, 2009

  • "We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a terrorist sympathizer.�?
    — Hunter S. Thompson, 'Extreme Behavior in Aspen', 3 February 2003.

    October 30, 2008