Language: Old English
Origin: fær 'sudden danger'


1 noun
fear1 S3 W1
1 [uncountable and countable] the feeling you get when you are afraid or worried that something bad is going to happenCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
fear that your deepest/worst/greatest fear irrational fear (=a fear that is not reasonable or based on logic) groundless fear (=a fear that you need not have because what you are afraid of does not happen) deep-seated fear (=a very strong fear that is difficult to change) in fear (of something) be in fear of/for your life (=afraid that you may be killed) be/live in fear (of something) (=be always afraid of something) without fear (of something) trembling/shivering/shaking with fear paralysed with fear (=so afraid that you cannot move) confirm somebody's fears (=show that what you are afraid of has happened) allay/dispel somebody's fears (=stop someone from being afraid) somebody's hopes and fears
The boy's eyes were full of fear.
fear of
a fear of flying
There are fears that share prices could decrease still further.
fear for
The girl's parents expressed fears for her safety.
Their worst fears became a reality.
an irrational fear of spiders
As it turned out, their fears were groundless.
They looked at one another in fear.
Thousands of people are in fear of their lives following the shootings.
Ordinary people lived in fear of being arrested by the secret police.
People must be able to express their views without fear.
She wept as the policeman confirmed her worst fears.
What hopes and fears do you have for the future?

for fear (that)

, for fear of something because you are worried that you will make something happen:
She finally ran away for fear that he would kill her.
for fear of doing something
He got to the station early, for fear of missing her.

no fear!

British English informal used humorously to say that you are definitely not going to do something:
'Are you going to Bill's party tonight?' 'No fear!'
4 [uncountable] the possibility or danger that something bad might happen:

put the fear of God into somebody

informal to make someone feel that they must do something, by making sure they know what will happen if they do not do it:
The Italian manager must have put the fear of God into his team.

without fear or favour

British English formal in a fair way:
The law must be enforced without fear or favour.

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.

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