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fearful

[feer-fuh l] /ˈfɪər fəl/
adjective
1.
causing or apt to cause fear; frightening:
a fearful apparition.
2.
feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude:
fearful for his life; fearful lest he commit suicide.
3.
full of awe or reverence:
fearful of the Lord.
4.
showing or caused by fear:
fearful behavior.
5.
extreme in size, intensity, or badness:
a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.
Origin of fearful
1300-1350
First recorded in 1300-50, fearful is from the Middle English word ferful. See fear, -ful
Related forms
fearfully, adverb
fearfulness, noun
overfearful, adjective
overfearfully, adverb
overfearfulness, noun
prefearful, adjective
prefearfully, adverb
unfearful, adjective
unfearfully, adverb
unfearfulness, noun
Can be confused
fearful, fearsome.
Synonyms
2. afraid, timid, timorous, apprehensive, uneasy, distrustful; solicitous, anxious, concerned, worried.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fearfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It's fearfully hard work, of course," he commented, when she had finished.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • They were fearfully bad, and my face must have shown the impression they made.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • All too fearfully I divined their preposterous significance.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Yea, he would curse them bitterly, and swore most fearfully what he would do to them when he found them.

    Bunyan

    James Anthony Froude
  • Reluctantly, fearfully, distrustfully, Glory paid her guinea and left her address.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • I was afraid of the storm, and yet I was fearfully, frightfully glad of it.

  • I called Father Dan's attention to this, and in a moment he was fearfully excited.

British Dictionary definitions for fearfully

fearfully

/ˈfɪəfʊlɪ/
adverb
1.
in a fearful manner
2.
(intensifier): you're fearfully kind

fearful

/ˈfɪəfʊl/
adjective
1.
having fear; afraid
2.
causing fear; frightening
3.
(informal) very unpleasant or annoying: a fearful cold
Derived Forms
fearfulness, noun
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 fearfully

fearful

adj.

mid-14c., "causing fear," from fear + -ful. Meaning "full of fear, timid" (now less common) also is from mid-14c. As a mere emphatic, from 1630s. Related: Fearfully; fearfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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