• "Paralysed with fear, he clung to the bough."
    "Paralysed with fear, he clung to the bough."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj fearful experiencing or showing fear "a fearful glance","fearful of criticism"
    • adj fearful causing fear or dread or terror "the awful war","an awful risk","dire news","a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked","the dread presence of the headmaster","polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was","a dreadful storm","a fearful howling","horrendous explosions shook the city","a terrible curse"
    • adj fearful timid by nature or revealing timidity "timorous little mouse","in a timorous tone","cast fearful glances at the large dog"
    • adj fearful lacking courage; ignobly timid and faint-hearted "cowardly dogs, ye will not aid me then"- P.B.Shelley"
    • adj fearful extremely distressing "fearful slum conditions","a frightful mistake"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"The woodpecker fled in fear." "The woodpecker fled in fear."
Keep Away from the Banks for Fear The Banks Will Cave In 329 Keep Away from the Banks for Fear The Banks Will Cave In 329
Northcroft kicking the field goal anticipated by the Navy and feared by the Army Northcroft kicking the field goal anticipated by the Navy and feared by the Army
Androcles cowers in fear as the lion enters the cave Androcles cowers in fear as the lion enters the cave

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words
    • Fearful Full of fear, apprehension, or alarm; afraid; frightened. "Anxious amidst all their success, and fearful amidst all their power."
    • Fearful Inclined to fear; easily frightened; without courage; timid. "What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted?"
    • Fearful Indicating, or caused by, fear. "Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh."
    • Fearful Inspiring fear or awe; exciting apprehension or terror; terrible; frightful; dreadful. "This glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God.""Death is a fearful thing.""In dreams they fearful precipices tread."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: If you are hedenophobic, you have a fear of pleasure.
    • fearful Feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude; afraid.
    • fearful Timid; timorous; wanting courage.
    • fearful Causing or such as to cause fear; impressing fear; frightful; dreadful; terrible; awful.
    • fearful Showing fear; produced by fear; indicative of fear.
    • fearful Synonyms Pusillanimous, cowardly, faint-hearted. Dreadful. Frightful, etc. (see awful); dire, direful, horrible, distressing, shocking.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Madonna suffers from garophobia (the fear of thunder).
    • adj Fearful timorous: exciting intense fear: terrible
    • ***


  • Napoleon Hill
    “Indecision is the seedling of fear.”
  • Richard Bach
    “Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “The fearful unbelief is unbelief in yourself.”
  • Martin H. Fisher
    Martin H. Fisher
    “A specialist is a person who fears the other subjects.”
  • John Donne
    “As he that fears God hears nothing else, so, he that sees God sees every thing else.”
  • A Course In Miracles
    A Course In Miracles
    “Only your mind can produce fear.”


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread - This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. fǽr, fear, fǽran, to terrify; cf. Ger. gefahr, Ice. fár, harm, mischief.


In literature:

Our position was a truly fearful one.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
This fearful show went on for some time, when the most fearful shrieks and yells were heard.
"Taking Tales" by W.H.G. Kingston
Daisy trusts me absolutely and has no fear; you must trust me altogether, and fear nothing.
"How It All Came Round" by L. T. Meade
They had lived in fear of the law, in fear of Steve, for over two years.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
I'm not kept awake o' nights by the fear of losing you, Timothy.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Something is wrong, I have felt certain, and now Makar confirms my fears.
"The River of Darkness" by William Murray Graydon
He is her great trouble, I fear.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
Dr. Tonge, a man very weak, very credulous, and full of fears respecting the intrigues of the Catholics but honest in his fears.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
When Brownrig would have put his hand on her, though he did it gently, she shrank from him as if she feared a blow.
"Allison Bain" by Margaret Murray Robertson
He had no fear that the animal would take advantage of the freedom thus given him.
"The Tiger Hunter" by Mayne Reid

In poetry:

Because he has the fear
Of God within his heart,
And the man that fears God
Always takes the poor's part.
"To Mr James Scrymgeour, Dundee" by William Topaz McGonagall
No matter how one leans
One yet fears not to know.
God knows what all this means!
The mortal mind is slow.
"A Song In Passing" by Yvor Winters
He feels his very vitals die,
All waxeth pale and wan;
Nay, worse, he fears to misery
He shortly must be gone.
"Of Death" by John Bunyan
Think not the world spins ever
(Only the world has a year)
Only the gaunt fierce bird
Flies, merciless with fear
"The Eagle" by Allen Tate

I was an Inkstand new,
Papa he likes to use it;
He keeps it in his pocket now,
For fear that he should lose it.
"Nonsense Alphabet" by Edward Lear
Fear not; oh! not so lightly
The soul of mortal dies;
It has but wept itself to sleep,
And all unconscious lies.
"Question And Answer" by Mathilde Blind

In news:

Turks Fear What Syria's War Will Bring.
That is a primary fear among winemakers, who believe the public will be put off by ingredients they may not understand.
Fear and Loathing in Tampa.
Telework tips to relieve management fears.
Alonzo says her family and their friends feared deportation, even after they were living here legally.
Sufferers display mood instability, fear of abandonment, impulsive behavior, anger and suicidal or self-injurious acts.
Euro 2012 hooliganism fears realized as 24 are injured in Polish-Russian clash.
Book review Monsters born of common fears.
Being the boss is mostly thankless and fraught with fear.
House lawmakers working on financial reform fear the Senate could blow Washington's chance to rein in the big banks.
I was in my early teens before I realized that children in other parts of the country could run barefoot through tall grass without fear.
Veil of Fears Why they veil.
Many fear Burundi is on the brink of a genocidal war, much like the one fought in Rwanda.
Cape Fear region players continue quest for PGA Tour card.

In science:

Tension is a physical manifestation of fear.
Music in Terms of Science
Tension makes movement difficult, which then incites more fear in the player.
Music in Terms of Science
In other words, more fear equals more tension.
Music in Terms of Science
When we relax our mindset, and stop fearing our loss over control, the body relaxes and control begins to happen naturally.
Music in Terms of Science
Understandably, you are reluctant to tamper with it, for fear of breaking it.
Reverse Engineering Quantum Field Theory