Word family noun fear fearfulnessfearlessness adjective fearfulfearless fearsome verb fear adverb fearfullyfearlessly
From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfearfear1 /fɪə $ fɪr/ ●●● S3 W1 noun 1 FRIGHTENED[countable, uncountable] the feeling you get when you are afraid or worried that something bad is going to happenfear of a fear of flyingfear that There are fears that share prices could decrease still further.fear for The girl’s parents expressed fears for her safety.in fear The children looked at her in fear.without fear People must be able to express their views without fear of criticism.2 for fear (that), 3 no fear!4 [uncountable] the possibility or danger that something bad might happen There’s no fear of revolt now.5 put the fear of God into somebody6 without fear or favourCOLLOCATIONSadjectivessomebody’s worst/greatest fearHer worst fear was never seeing her children again.an irrational fear (=one that is not reasonable)He grew up with an irrational fear of insects.a deep-seated fear (=very strong and difficult to change)He exploited people’s deep-seated fears about strangers.groundless (=without any reason)As it turned out, these fears were groundless.verbsconquer/overcome your fear (=stop being afraid)She managed to conquer her fear of flying.shake/tremble with fearHe was shaking with fear after being held at gunpoint.show fearShe was determined not to show fear.be gripped by fear (=be very afraid)We were gripped by fear as the boat was tossed around by the waves.be paralysed with fear (=be so afraid that you cannot move)Bruce was paralysed with fear when he saw the snake.confirm somebody’s fears (=show that what you were afraid of has actually happened)The look on Colin’s face confirmed all my worst fears.ease/allay/dispel somebody’s fears (=help someone stop being afraid)Frank eased my fears about not being able to speak the local language.phrasesbe in fear of/for your life (=be afraid that you may be killed)Celia was in fear of her life when she saw the truck coming toward her.be full of fearThe residents are too full of fear to leave their houses.be/live in fear of something (=be always afraid of something)They were constantly in fear of an enemy attack.have no fear of somethingHe had no fear of death.somebody’s hopes and fearsWe each had different hopes and fears about the trip.COMMON ERRORSDo not say that someone ‘has fear’. Say that someone is frightened or is afraid. THESAURUSfear a feeling of being frightenedHe was trembling with fear.Fear of failure should not stop you trying.terror a feeling of great fear, because you think that something terrible is about to happenShe let out a scream of pure terror.fright a sudden feeling of fear, or a situation that makes you feel thisMy body was shaking with fright.You gave me a fright!He’s had a bit of fright, that’s all.panic a sudden feeling of fear or nervousness that makes you unable to think clearly or behave sensiblyShe was in such a panic that she hardly knew what she was doing!There were scenes of sheer panic immediately following the bomb blast.alarm a feeling of fear or worry which shows in your voice or behaviour, because you think something bad might happenWhen I mentioned her name, he looked up at me in alarm.The streets were calm and there was no sign of alarm.foreboding /fɔːˈbəʊdɪŋ $ fɔːrˈboʊ-/ a feeling that something bad or unpleasant might happen although there is no obvious reason why it shouldShe felt the same sense of foreboding she had before her father died.phobia /ˈfəʊbiə $ ˈfoʊ-/ a permanent strong unreasonable fear of somethingI had a phobia about going to the dentist.
Examples from the Corpus
fearfear of flyingFears of a recession have wiped billions of dollars off share values.With their eyes erect and fear in their speed they run for the safety of the waves.On New Year's Eve we come together, and share our hopes and fears for the coming year.Meditation for scared warriors Where does fear come from, Lord?The overhang has continued because companies held back shutdowns for fear of helping competitors.Curiosity overcame her fear.Her fears were groundless and she slid the door back.I glanced around in fear. Was someone following me?People fled in fear of their lives, as mud began to pour down the mountainside.My fear of the dentist goes back to when I was a child.The boy's eyes were full of fear.A tingle of fear mixed with excitement came over me.With all these men, however, their egos are clearly strong enough to overcome any residual fear of the feminine.McCarthy exploited deep-seated fears about communism among the American people.There was always the fear that he might never return.The fear is that if they are published, Parliament will pass a law against smearing politicians.The boat had gone. We stood frozen with fear, staring at the sea.Her hands were shaking with fear.These men were despots, meaning they could kill their subjects without fear of retribution.fear forTwo men refused to testify in court out of fear for their lives.
fearfear2 ●●○ W2 verb 1 FRIGHTENED[intransitive, transitive] to feel afraid or worried that something bad may happen Fearing violence, the group asked for police protection.fear (that) Police fear that there may be further terrorist attacks.fear to do something formal Women feared to go out at night.fear for somebody His wife seemed depressed, and he feared for his children.fear for somebody’s safety/life a terrifying ordeal in which she feared for her life Hundreds of people are feared dead in the ferry disaster.GrammarIn more formal English, you say it is feared that something is true: It is feared that the child has been abducted.2 fear the worst3 FRIGHTENED[transitive] to be afraid of someone and what they might do As a leader, he was distrusted and even feared.4 I fear5 fear not/never fear God-fearing→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
fearFearing a blizzard, many people stayed home.The rescuers dug slowly and carefully, fearing that the wreckage might collapse on top of them.At the age of thirty, Gertrude lay on her death-bed, fearing that she was unworthy of heaven.Second, the actual difficulties encountered overseas appeared to be of a considerably lower order of intensity than had been feared.Some have decided not to return, fearing they will lose the pleasant images of memory they developed long ago.If you see Mrs Meir, tell her I am not a person who fears anyone.He was a ruthless dictator, feared by the entire country.Whitney, the butcher, who was feared for his savagery and barbarism.This will comfort those on the Labour side who most feared negative Nice fallout in an election year.Many of the gang's victims refused to give information to the police because they feared reprisals.They say the only people who need fear the cameras are those doing somthing illegal.I feared the snow would bury the words beneath its drifts.feared deadAn airforce spokesman has tonight confirmed that both the pilot and navigator of the F One-Eleven are feared dead.Five people helping lead a convoy of aid from Oxfordshire are missing feared dead.
Origin fear1 Old English fær sudden danger