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or afeared

[uh-feerd] /əˈfɪərd/
adjective, British and Midland and Southern U.S.
Origin of afeard
before 1000; Middle English afered, Old English āfǣred frightened (past participle of āfǣran). See a-3, fear, -ed2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for afeared
Historical Examples
  • You're afeared to go to law—Levi West—you try th' law—and see how ye like it.

  • He didn't like to lind, an' he was afeared to say No, an' he was in a quondairy intirely.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • I used to be afeared when I thought on it, but now—I think I could die and be happy!

    The Rambles of a Rat

    A. L. O. E.
  • I am afeared, Sir Thomas, you shall find it hard matter to deal with him.

    Clare Avery Emily Sarah Holt
  • “I am afeared, Sister, we have no crisping-pins,” said Clare.

    Clare Avery Emily Sarah Holt
  • There's a big tear in my shoulder, an' I'm afeared I've made my last cruise.

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • Well, all I can say is, I never seen you afeared to go to say before.

  • "I'm afeared, then, I won't be able to claim that there money," he said forlornly.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb
  • "She's afeared the lawyer suspects her virtue," Edith said to herself.

    The Art of Disappearing John Talbot Smith
  • I'm afeared of what d'you call 'ems, some tomfoolery, you know.

    The Power of Darkness Leo Tolstoy
British Dictionary definitions for afeared


(postpositive) an archaic or dialect word for afraid
Word Origin
Old English āfǣred, from afǣran to frighten, from fǣran to fear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afeared

Old English afæred, past participle of now-obsolete afear (Old English afæran) "to terrify," from a- (1) + root of fear. Used frequently by Shakespeare, but supplanted in literary English after 1700 by afraid (q.v.). It still survives in popular and colloquial speech.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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