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



    Middle English dreden, from Old English drǣdan ( “to fear, caution against” ), aphetic form of ādrǣdan, ondrǣdan ( “to advise or counsel against” ); compare with Dutch ontraden ( “to advise or counsel against” ), from and- ( “against” ) + rǣdan ( “to counsel, advise” ). Akin to Old High German intrātan ( “to fear” ). More at read .


    • enPR: drĕd, IPA: /drɛd/, X-SAMPA: /drEd/
    • Rhymes: -ɛd

    Derived terms


    dread ( plural: dreads )

    1. A great fear .
    2. Somebody or something dreaded .
    3. A Rastafarian .
    4. ( chiefly plural: ) dreadlock


    dread ( comparative dreader, superlative most dread )

    1. Terrible; greatly feared .
    2. ( archaic ) Awe-inspiring; held in fearful awe .

    See also

    • dreadlocks


Explanation of dread by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be afraid or scared of

    1. causing fear or dread or terror

    2. the dread presence of the headmaster
      polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was
      a dreadful storm
    1. fearful expectation or anticipation

    Definition of dread by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Dread ( drĕd ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dreaded; p. pr. & vb. n. Dreading.] [AS. drǣdan, in comp.; akin to OS. drādan, OHG. trātan, both only in comp.] To fear in a great degree; to regard, or look forward to, with terrific apprehension.

      When at length the moment dreaded through so many years came close, the dark cloud passed away from Johnson's mind. Macaulay.

    2. Dread, v. i. To be in dread, or great fear.

      Dread not, neither be afraid of them. Deut. i. 29.

    3. Dread, n.
      1. Great fear in view of impending evil; fearful apprehension of danger; anticipatory terror.

      The secret dread of divine displeasure. Tillotson.

      The dread of something after death. Shak.

      2. Reverential or respectful fear; awe.

      The fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth. Gen. ix. 2.

      His scepter shows the force of temporal power,

      The attribute to awe and majesty,

      Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. Shak.

      3. An object of terrified apprehension.

      4. A person highly revered. [Obs.] “Una, his dear dread.” Spenser.

      5. Fury; dreadfulness. [Obs.] Spenser.

      6. Doubt; as, “out of dread”. [Obs.] Chaucer.

      Syn. -- Awe; fear; affright; terror; horror; dismay; apprehension. See Reverence.

    4. Dread, a.
      1. Exciting great fear or apprehension; causing terror; frightful; dreadful.

      A dread eternity! how surely mine. Young.

      2. Inspiring with reverential fear; awful' venerable; as, “dread sovereign; dread majesty; dread tribunal.”