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Webster 1913 Edition


Afraid

A-fraid′

,
p.
Adj.
[OE.
afrayed
,
affraide
, p. p. of
afraien
to affray. See
Affray
, and cf.
Afeard
.]
Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear; apprehensive.
[Afraid comes after the noun it limits.]
“Back they recoiled, afraid.”
Milton.
☞ This word expresses a less degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is followed by of before the object of fear, or by the infinitive, or by a dependent clause; as, to be afraid of death. “I am afraid to die.” “I am afraid he will chastise me.” “Be not afraid that I your hand should take.”
Shak.
I am afraid is sometimes used colloquially to soften a statement; as, I am afraid I can not help you in this matter.
Syn. – Fearful; timid; timorous; alarmed; anxious.

Webster 1828 Edition


Afraid

AFRA'ID

,
Adj.
[The participle of affray.]
Impressed with fear or apprehension; fearful. This word expresses a less degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is followed by of before the object of fear; as, to be afraid of death.
Joseph was afraid to sin against God.

Definition 2022


afraid

afraid

English

Adjective

afraid (comparative more afraid, superlative most afraid)

  1. (usually used predicatively, not attributively) Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear.
    He is afraid of death.
    He is afraid to die.
    He is afraid that he will die.
  2. (colloquial) regretful, sorry
    I am afraid I can not help you in this matter.

Usage notes

  • (Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear; apprehensive): Afraid expresses a lesser degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is often followed by the preposition of and the object of fear, or by an infinitive, or by a dependent clause, as shown in the examples above.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: die · arm · wrong · #646: afraid · merely · struck · man's

Welsh

Etymology

af- (un-) + rhaid (necessity)

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈavrai̯d/

Adjective

afraid (feminine singular afraid, plural afraid, equative afreidied, comparative afreidiach, superlative afreidiaf)

  1. unnecessary, unessential
    • c. 1500, Ieuan Tew, poem in Cwrt Mawr manuscript no. 5, published and translated 1921 by T. Gwynn Jones, “Cultural Bases. A Study of the Tudor Period in Wales”, Y Cymmrodor. The Magazine of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, vol. 31, page 182:
      mogelwch yma golyn
      a fo goeg, ag afu gwyn—
      a choegddyn crin, ledryn crach,
      o fradwr—nid afreidiach;
      beware of the sting of white-livered wretches, and every withered, niggardly wretch of a traitor—it were not less necessary;
    • c. 1600, Edmwnd Prys, quoted in A Welsh Grammar, Historical and Comparative by J. Morris Jones, Oxford: 1913, p. 44:
      Amlwg fydd trŵyn a’r wyneb;
      Afraid i ni nodi neb.
      Plain is the nose on a face; it is unnecessary for us to mention anyone.

Noun

afraid m (plural afreidiau)

  1. superfluity, extravagance

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal h-prothesis
afraid unchanged unchanged hafraid
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References