Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Fear

Fear

(fēr)
,
Noun.
A variant of
Fere
, a mate, a companion.
[Obs.]
Spenser.

Fear

,
Noun.
[OE.
fer
,
feer
,
fere
, AS.
fǣr
a coming suddenly upon, fear, danger; akin to D.
vaar
, OHG.
fāra
danger, G.
gefahr
, Icel.
fār
harm, mischief, plague, and to E.
fare
,
peril
. See
Fare
.]
1.
A painful emotion or passion excited by the expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger; apprehension; anxiety; solicitude; alarm; dread.
☞ The degrees of this passion, beginning with the most moderate, may be thus expressed, –
apprehension
,
fear
,
dread
,
fright
,
terror
.
Fear
is an uneasiness of the mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
Locke.
Where no hope is left, is left no
fear
.
Milton.
2.
(Script.)
(a)
Apprehension of incurring, or solicitude to avoid, God’s wrath; the trembling and awful reverence felt toward the Supreme Being.
(b)
Respectful reverence for men of authority or worth.
I will put my
fear
in their hearts.
Jer. xxxii. 40.
I will teach you the
fear
of the Lord.
Ps. xxxiv. 11.
Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due . . .
fear
to whom
fear
.
Rom. xiii. 7.
3.
That which causes, or which is the object of, apprehension or alarm; source or occasion of terror; danger; dreadfulness.
There were they in great fear, where no
fear
was.
Ps. liii. 5.
The
fear
of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprise.
Shakespeare
For fear
,
in apprehension lest.
For fear you ne'er see chain nor money more.”
Shak.

Fear

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Feared
(fērd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Fearing
.]
[OE.
feren
,
faeren
, to frighten, to be afraid, AS.
fǣran
to terrify. See
Fear
,
Noun.
]
1.
To feel a painful apprehension of; to be afraid of; to consider or expect with emotion of alarm or solicitude.
I will
fear
no evil, for thou art with me.
Ps. xxiii. 4.
With subordinate clause.
I greatly
fear
my money is not safe.
Shakespeare


I almost
fear
to quit your hand.
D. Jerrold.
2.
To have a reverential awe of; to be solicitous to avoid the displeasure of.
Leave them to God above; him serve and
fear
.
Milton.
3.
To be anxious or solicitous for; now replaced by
fear for
.
[R.]
The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children, therefore . . . I
fear
you.
Shakespeare
4.
To suspect; to doubt.
[Obs.]
Ay what else,
fear
you not her courage?
Shakespeare
5.
To affright; to terrify; to drive away or prevent approach of by fear.
[Obs.]
Fear
their people from doing evil.
Robynson (More's Utopia).
Syn. – To apprehend; dread; reverence; venerate.

Fear

,
Verb.
I.
To be in apprehension of evil; to be afraid; to feel anxiety on account of some expected evil.
I exceedingly
fear
and quake.
Heb. xii. 21.

Webster 1828 Edition


Fear

FEAR

,
Noun.
[See the Verb.]
1.
A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. Fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. The force of this passion, beginning with the most moderate degree, may be thus expressed, fear, dread, terror, fright. Fear is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. Fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil.
2.
Anxiety; solicitude.
The principal fear was for the holy temple.
3.
The cause of fear.
Thy angel becomes a fear.
4.
The object of fear.
Except the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me. Gen 31.
5.
Something set or hung up to terrify wild animals, by its color or noise. Is. 24. Jer. 48.
6.
In scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear.
I will put my fear in their hearts. Jer. 32.
Slavish fear is the effect or consequence of guilt; it is the painful apprehension of merited punishment. Rom. 8.
The love of God casteth out fear. 1John 4.
7.
The worship of God.
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Ps. 34.
8.
The law and word of God.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever. Ps. 19.
9.
Reverence; respect; due regard.
Render to all their dues; fear to whom fear. Rom. 13.

FEAR

,
Verb.
T.
[L. vereor.]
1.
To feel a painful apprehension of some impending evil; to be afraid of; to consider or expect with emotions of alarm or solicitude. We fear the approach of an enemy or of a storm. We have reason to fear the punishment of our sins.
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Ps. 23.
2.
To reverence; to have a reverential awe; to venerate.
This do, and live: for I fear God. Gen. 42.
3.
To affright; to terrify; to drive away or prevent approach by fear, or by a scarecrow. [This seems to be the primary meaning, but now obsolete.]
We must not make a scarecrow of the law, setting it up to fear the birds of prey.

FEAR

,
Verb.
I.
To be in apprehension of evil; to be afraid; to feel anxiety on account of some expected evil.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2Cor. 11.
Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Gen. 15.

FEAR

,
Noun.
A companion. [Not in use. See Peer.]

Definition 2022


fear

fear

See also: féar and fear-

English

Noun

fear (countable and uncountable, plural fears)

  1. (uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
    He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 18, in The China Governess:
      ‘Then the father has a great fight with his terrible conscience,’ said Munday with granite seriousness. ‘Should he make a row with the police []? Or should he say nothing about it and condone brutality for fear of appearing in the newspapers?’
  2. (countable) A phobia, a sense of fear induced by something or someone.
    Not everybody has the same fears. I have a fear of ants.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.
  3. (uncountable) Terrified veneration or reverence, particularly towards God, gods, or sovereigns.
    • 1611, Bible (KJV), Psalm CXI, verse 10:
      The feare of the Lord is the beginning of wisedome.
    • 1846, J. Ruskin, Modern Painters, volume II, page 121:
      That sacred dread of all offence to him, which is called the Fear of God.
Synonyms
  • (an emotion caused by actual or perceived danger; a sense of fear induced by something or someone): See Wikisaurus:fear
  • (terrified veneration): dread
Derived terms
Translations

Verb

fear (third-person singular simple present fears, present participle fearing, simple past and past participle feared)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To cause fear to; to frighten.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter x, in Le Morte Darthur, book V:
      Thenne the knyghte sayd to syre Gawayn / bynde thy wounde or thy blee chaunge / for thou bybledest al thy hors and thy fayre armes / [] / For who someuer is hurte with this blade he shalle neuer be staunched of bledynge / Thenne ansuerd gawayn hit greueth me but lytyl / thy grete wordes shalle not feare me ne lasse my courage
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto IV:
      Words fearen babes.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
  2. (transitive) To feel fear about (something); to be afraid of; to consider or expect with alarm.
    I fear the worst will happen. I fear for their safety.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      I greatly fear my money is not safe.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, chapter II:
      At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.
    • 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, Denied an education by war”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 1:
      One particularly damaging, but often ignored, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools [] as children, teachers or school buildings become the targets of attacks. Parents fear sending their children to school. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
  3. (transitive) To venerate; to feel awe towards.
    People who fear God can be found in Christian churches.
  4. (transitive) Regret.
    I fear [regret that] I have bad news for you: your husband has died.
  5. (obsolete) To be anxious or solicitous for.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children, therefore [] I fear you.
  6. (obsolete) To suspect; to doubt.
Synonyms
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English fere, feore, from Old English fēre (able to go, fit for service), from Proto-Germanic *fōriz (passable), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (to put across, ferry). Cognate with Scots fere, feir (well, active, sound), Middle High German gevüere (able, capable, fit, serviceable), Swedish för (capable, able, stout), Icelandic færr (able). Related to fare.

Alternative forms

Adjective

fear (comparative more fear, superlative most fear)

  1. (dialectal) Able; capable; stout; strong; sound.
    hale and fear

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: possible · mark · followed · #426: fear · evening · ground · understand

Anagrams


Irish

Etymology

From Old Irish fer, from Proto-Celtic *wiros, from Proto-Indo-European *wiHrós. Cognate with Welsh gŵr, Latin vir, and Old English wer.

Pronunciation

Noun

fear m (genitive singular fir, nominative plural fir)

  1. man
    Tá an fear ag ól uisce.
    The man is drinking water.
  2. husband, male spouse

Declension

Derived terms

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
fear fhear bhfear
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References

  • 1 fer” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.
  • Tomás de Bhaldraithe, 1977, Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge: An Deilbhíocht, 2nd edition, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, section 5 and page 339.
  • "fear" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.

Scots

Noun

fear (plural fears)

  1. fear

Verb

fear (third-person singular present fears, present participle fearin, past feart, past participle feart)

  1. to fear
  2. to frighten, scare

Scottish Gaelic

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /fɛɾ/

Noun

fear m (genitive singular fir, plural fir)

  1. man
  2. husband, male spouse

Declension

First declension; forms with the definite article:

Case Singular Plural
Nominative am fear na fir
Vocative fhir fhir
Genitive an fhir nam fear/fir
Dative leis an fhear leis na fir

Derived terms

See also

Pronoun

fear (genitive fir)

  1. somebody, something, one

Usage notes

Derived terms


West Frisian

Noun

fear c (plural fearren, no diminutive)

  1. ferry
  2. spring (mechanical device)