[ feer-suh m ]
/ ˈfɪər səm /


causing fear: a fearsome noise.
causing awe or respect: a fearsome self-confidence.
afraid; timid.

Origin of fearsome

First recorded in 1760–70; fear + -some1

Related forms

fear·some·ly, adverbfear·some·ness, noun

Can be confused

fearful fearsome
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fearsomeness

  • Again, as the garments of the daily task fell from her, Joyce felt the sordidness and fearsomeness depart.

    Joyce of the North Woods|Harriet T. Comstock
  • He had fearsomeness enough of his own to send him rearing and pawing the air until the whiffle-trees rapped his knees.

    Horses Nine|Sewell Ford
  • I myself know the fearsomeness of the raids of our equally ferocious Apaches and Yaquis.

    A Volunteer with Pike|Robert Ames Bennet
  • It is difficult for me, even at this time, to understand all the fearsomeness of that moment.

British Dictionary definitions for fearsomeness


/ (ˈfɪəsəm) /


timorous; afraid

Derived Forms

fearsomely, adverbfearsomeness, 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