Date: 1300-1400
Origin: Past participle of affray 'to frighten' (14-19 centuries), from Old French affreer; AFFRAY


a‧fraid S1 W2 [not before noun]
1 frightened because you think that you may get hurt or that something bad may happen [= scared]:
There's no need to be afraid.
afraid of (doing) something
kids who are afraid of the dark
He was afraid of being caught by the police.
afraid to do something
Zoe was half afraid (=a little afraid) to go back in the house.
see usage note fear1
2 worried about what might happen, or that something bad will happen
afraid (that)
He was afraid that the other kids would laugh at him.
afraid of (doing) something
I didn't tell her because I was afraid of upsetting her.
The government was afraid of a public outcry.
afraid to do something
Don't be afraid to ask for help.

afraid for somebody/something

worried that something bad may happen to a particular person or thing:
Her father looked ill and she was suddenly afraid for him.
Many of us were afraid for our jobs.

I'm afraid

spoken used to politely tell someone something that may annoy, upset, or disappoint them:
That's the most we can offer you, I'm afraid.
I'm afraid (that)
I'm afraid you've come to the wrong address.
'Is she very ill?' ' I'm afraid so (=yes).'
'Did you see him?' ' I'm afraid not (=no).'

fear, afraid, frightened
fear (noun) is the feeling of being afraid. Do not say that you 'have fear'. Use be afraid or be frightened My whole body was paralysed with fear. She was suddenly very afraid. We were too frightened to speak.The verb to fear is used mainly in literature or newspapers, and not usually in speech She feared that he would not be found alive. Fearing more riots, the government made concessions.It is more usual to say that someone is afraid or is frightened My parents are afraid that I'll get involved with drugs. People were frightened of being mugged.See also fear

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