Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of afraid
Meaning of afraid by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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 base *frijōnan ( “to free; to love” ), from Proto-Indo-European *prāy-, *prēy- ( “to like, love” ). Cognate with Old High German fridu ( “peace” ), Old English friþ ( “peace, frith” ), Old English frēod ( “peace, friendship” ), German Friede ( “peace” ). Compare also afeard. More at free, friend .


    • IPA: /əˈfɹeɪd/
    • Rhymes: -eɪd


    afraid ( comparative more afraid, superlative most afraid )

    1. ( usually used predicatively, not attributively ) Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear .
      He is afraid of death .
      He is afraid to die .
      He is afraid that he will die .
    2. ( colloquial ) regretful, sorry
      I am afraid I can not help you in this matter .

    Usage notes


    • ( Impressed with fear or apprehension ): afeared, alarmed, anxious, apprehensive, fearful, timid, timorous
    • ( Regretful ): sorry
    • See also Wikisaurus:afraid

    Derived terms

    See also


Explanation of afraid by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. filled with fear or apprehension

    2. afraid even to turn his head
      suddenly looked afraid
      afraid for his life
      afraid of snakes
      afraid to ask questions
    3. filled with regret or concern

    4. I'm afraid I won't be able to come
      he was afraid he would have to let her go
      I'm afraid you're wrong
    5. feeling worry or concern or insecurity

    6. She was afraid that I might be embarrassed
      terribly afraid of offending someone
      I am afraid we have witnessed only the first phase of the conflict
    7. having feelings of aversion or unwillingness

    8. afraid of hard work
      afraid to show emotion

    Definition of afraid by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Afraid p. a. [OE. afrayed, affraide, p. p. of afraien to affray. See Affray, and cf. Afeard.] Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear; apprehensive. [Afraid comes after the noun it limits.] “Back they recoiled, afraid.” Milton.

      ☞ This word expresses a less degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is followed by of before the object of fear, or by the infinitive, or by a dependent clause; as, to be afraid of death. “I am afraid to die.” “I am afraid he will chastise me.” “Be not afraid that I your hand should take.” Shak. I am afraid is sometimes used colloquially to soften a statement; as, I am afraid I can not help you in this matter.

      Syn. -- Fearful; timid; timorous; alarmed; anxious.