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fearful

[feer-fuhl]
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adjective
  1. causing or apt to cause fear; frightening: a fearful apparition.
  2. feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude: fearful for his life; fearful lest he commit suicide.
  3. full of awe or reverence: fearful of the Lord.
  4. showing or caused by fear: fearful behavior.
  5. extreme in size, intensity, or badness: a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.
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Origin of fearful

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

Synonyms for fearful

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

Related Words for unfearful

spunky, spirited, gutsy, valiant, courageous, heroic, gallant, foolhardy, daring, confident, fearless, audacious, stout, adventurous, dashing, reckless, resolute, strong, determined, firm

Examples from the Web for unfearful

Historical Examples of 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

fearful

adjective
  1. having fear; afraid
  2. causing fear; frightening
  3. informal very unpleasant or annoyinga fearful cold
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Derived Formsfearfulness, 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

Word Origin and History for unfearful

fearful

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper