- feeling fear; filled with apprehension: afraid to go.
- feeling regret, unhappiness, or the like: I'm afraid we can't go on Monday.
- feeling reluctance, unwillingness, distaste, or the like: He seemed afraid to show his own children a little kindness.
Origin of afraid
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for afraid
As soon as this attack [happened], Paris citizens came together to show were are not afraid, we are Charlie Hebdo.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
But we are afraid and we wonder to ourselves who will be next.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Are you excited, nervous, afraid, all of the above for the new Star Wars films?Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire
January 6, 2015
Lynch was surely not afraid of showing disrespect to the mayor.Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
Afraid the Korean secret police would not believe his kidnapping story, Shin settled in Hollywood.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea
December 30, 2014
Philothea has glided from the apartment, as if afraid to remain in my presence.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
"I am afraid I should make a poor hand at it," said Mrs. Rushton, smiling.
“I am afraid he is past ransom,” said the youth, shaking his head.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
That he is afraid to trust banks, and hides his money in the earth.
As for him—well caviare, I'm afraid, will always be caviare to Jimmy Nesbit.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
- (often foll by of) feeling fear or apprehension; frightenedhe was afraid of cats
- reluctant (to do something), as through fear or timidityhe was afraid to let himself go
- (often foll by that; used to lessen the effect of an unpleasant statement) regretfulI'm afraid that I shall have to tell you to go
Word Origin and History for afraid
early 14c., originally past participle of afray "frighten," from Anglo-French afrayer, from Old French esfreer (see affray (n.)). A rare case of an English adjective that never stands before a noun. Because it was used in A.V. Bible, it acquired independent standing and thrived while affray faded, chasing out the once more common afeared. Sense in I'm afraid "I regret to say, I suspect" (without implication of fear) is first recorded 1590s.
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone [Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes," 1820]