- to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of: to dread death.
- to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience: I dread going to big parties.
- Archaic. to hold in respectful awe.
- to be in great fear.
- terror or apprehension as to something in the future; great fear.
- a person or thing dreaded.
- dreads, Informal. dreadlocks.
- Informal. a person who wears dreadlocks.w
- Archaic. deep awe or reverence.
- greatly feared; frightful; terrible.
- held in awe or reverential fear.
Origin of dread
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dreaded
Jackson was an exceptional math and science student; the dreaded Bartlett was one of his favorite professors.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
No, not Ebola, but rather infection with the dreaded bacterium, Yersinia pestis.Bubonic Plague Is Back (but It Never Really Left)
November 27, 2014
Lohse and his beleaguered fellow pledges were, he claims, forced to chug vinegar and to dine on the dreaded “vomlet.”An Ivy League Frat Boy’s Shallow Repentance
November 24, 2014
These pathetic folks need to accept that “jazz has replaced classical music as the dreaded incarnation of eat-your-broccoli art.”What’s With This Uncool Surge in Jazz Bashing?
November 2, 2014
But when she opened the door, a harem of toned and dreaded hip-hop dancers were lounging on couches staring at her.How Aidy Bryant Stealthily Became Your Favorite ‘Saturday Night Live’ Star
October 31, 2014
He was then required to swear by all the gods, and by the dreaded Erinnys, that he had spoken truly.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He dreaded to break the news to his mother, for he knew that it would distress her.Brave and Bold
The words were like the dreaded tap on the shoulder of the hunted criminal.Viviette
William J. Locke
In the hall a halt was made and the dreaded good-byes began.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
The blow had fallen, even that which Lecorbeau had most dreaded.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
- to anticipate with apprehension or terror
- to fear greatly
- archaic to be in awe of
- great fear; horror
- an object of terror
- slang a Rastafarian
- archaic deep reverence
- literary awesome; awe-inspiring
Word Origin and History for dreaded
late 12c., a shortening of Old English adrædan, contraction of ondrædan "counsel or advise against," also "to dread, fear, be afraid," from on- "against" + rædan "to advise" (see read (v.)). Cognate of Old Saxon andradon, Old High German intraten. Related: Dreaded; dreading. As a noun from 12c.