or a·feared


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for afeared

Historical Examples of afeared

  • 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!

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for afeared




(postpositive) an archaic or dialect word for afraid

Word Origin for afeard

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

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