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afraid

[uh-freyd]
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adjective
  1. feeling fear; filled with apprehension: afraid to go.
  2. feeling regret, unhappiness, or the like: I'm afraid we can't go on Monday.
  3. feeling reluctance, unwillingness, distaste, or the like: He seemed afraid to show his own children a little kindness.
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Origin of afraid

variant spelling of affrayed, past participle of affray to disturb, frighten
Related formshalf-a·fraid, adjectiveun·a·fraid, adjective

Synonyms

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1. scared, fearful, disquieted, apprehensive, timid, timorous.

Synonym study

1. Afraid, alarmed, frightened, terrified all indicate a state of fear. Afraid implies inner apprehensive disquiet: afraid of the dark. Alarmed implies that the feelings are aroused through realization of some imminent or unexpected danger to oneself or others: alarmed by (or about ) someone's illness. Frightened means shocked with sudden, but usually short-lived, fear, especially that arising from apprehension of physical harm: frightened by an accident. Terrified suggests the emotional reaction when one is struck with a violent, overwhelming fear: terrified by an earthquake.

Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

assuredboldbrassybravecheekycockyconfidentcourageousdaringdashingdauntlessgallantgamegrittygutsyheroicnervypluckyspunkysure

Examples from the Web for unafraid

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She was apt not only to know what she talked about, but she was a woman of resource, unafraid of action.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He, on the other hand, being the fastest-footed, was unafraid to venture anywhere.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • I was sure-footed and unafraid, so at once I determined to essay the passage.

  • Unafraid, they caressed the unconscious locks, anointing them for their burial.

    St. Cuthbert's

    Robert E. Knowles

  • Then, too, she was unafraid and all ready to make a lively commotion.


British Dictionary definitions for unafraid

unafraid

adjective (postpositive often foll by of)
  1. not frightenedunafraid to break new ground
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afraid

adjective (postpositive)
  1. (often foll by of) feeling fear or apprehension; frightenedhe was afraid of cats
  2. reluctant (to do something), as through fear or timidityhe was afraid to let himself go
  3. (often foll by that; used to lessen the effect of an unpleasant statement) regretfulI'm afraid that I shall have to tell you to go
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Word Origin

C14: affraied, past participle of affray (to frighten)
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 unafraid

adj.

early 15c., from un- (1) "not" + afraid.

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afraid

adj.

early 14c., originally past participle of afray "frighten," from Anglo-French afrayer, from Old French esfreer (see affray (n.)). A rare case of an English adjective that never stands before a noun. Because it was used in A.V. Bible, it acquired independent standing and thrived while affray faded, chasing out the once more common afeared. Sense in I'm afraid "I regret to say, I suspect" (without implication of fear) is first recorded 1590s.

Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone [Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes," 1820]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper