causing or apt to cause fear; frightening: a fearful apparition. feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude: fearful for his life; fearful lest he commit suicide.
full of awe or reverence: fearful of the Lord.
showing or caused by fear: fearful behavior.
extreme in size, intensity, or badness: a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.
Origin of fearful
Related formsfear·ful·ly, adverbfear·ful·ness, nouno·ver·fear·ful, adjectiveo·ver·fear·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·fear·ful·ness, nounpre·fear·ful, adjectivepre·fear·ful·ly, adverbun·fear·ful, adjectiveun·fear·ful·ly, adverbun·fear·ful·ness, noun
First recorded in 1300–50, fearful
is from the Middle English
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for fearfulnessperturbation
Examples from the Web for fearfulness
Historical Examples of fearfulness
You, I know, lay this to his fearfulness of disobliging or offending.
The fearfulness of Gibson's perfidy was almost incomprehensible.
Those who have not felt it know not the fearfulness of waiting for an Indian attack.
The fearfulness of the consequences shows how false the supposed principle must be.
How shall I describe to you this pressure, its fearfulness and sublimity!
British Dictionary definitions for fearfulness
Derived Formsfearfulness, noun
having fear; afraid
causing fear; frightening
informal very unpleasant or annoyinga fearful cold
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 fearfulness
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