[ feer-fuhl ]
/ ˈfɪər fəl /


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

First recorded in 1300–50, fearful is from the Middle English word ferful. See fear, -ful

Related forms

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for unfearful

  • The whole thing was extraordinary and curious but unfearful, a storm of wind seemed blowing in her face.

    The Ghost Girl|H. De Vere Stacpoole

British Dictionary definitions for unfearful


/ (ˈfɪəfʊl) /


having fear; afraid
causing fear; frightening
informal very unpleasant or annoyinga fearful cold

Derived Forms

fearfulness, 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