[ dred ]
See synonyms for: dreaddreadeddreadingdreads on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension of: to dread death.

  2. to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience: I dread going to big parties.

  1. Archaic. to hold in respectful awe.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be in great fear.

  1. terror or apprehension as to something in the future; great fear.

  2. a person or thing dreaded.

  1. dreads, Informal. dreadlocks.

  2. Informal. a person who wears dreadlocks.

  3. Archaic. deep awe or reverence.

  1. greatly feared; frightful; terrible.

  2. held in awe or reverential fear.

Origin of dread

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English dreden (verb), Old English drǣdan, aphetic variant of adrǣdan, ondrǣdan; cognate with Old High German intrātan “to fear”

synonym study For dread

5. See fear.

Other words for dread

Opposites for dread

Other words from dread

  • dread·a·ble, adjective
  • dread·ness, noun
  • pre·dread, noun, verb (used with object)
  • un·dread·ed, adjective
  • un·dread·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dread in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dread


/ (drɛd) /

  1. to anticipate with apprehension or terror

  2. to fear greatly

  1. archaic to be in awe of

  1. great fear; horror

  2. an object of terror

  1. slang a Rastafarian

  2. archaic deep reverence

  1. literary awesome; awe-inspiring

Origin of dread

Old English ondrǣdan; related to Old Saxon antdrādan, Old High German intrātan

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