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Definition of fear noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



/fɪr/ fear pronunciation American
[uncountable, countable] the bad feeling that you have when you are in danger, when something bad might happen, or when a particular thing frightens youHer eyes showed no fear.The child was shaking with fear. fear (of someone/something)(a) fear of the dark/spiders/flying, etc.We lived in constant fear of losing our jobs. fear (for someone/something)her fears for her son's safetyAlan spoke of his fears for the future. fear (that…)the fear that he had cancerThe doctor's report confirmed our worst fears.IDIOMS

for fear of something/of doing something


for fear (that)…

to avoid the danger of something happening
We spoke quietly for fear of waking the guards.I had to run away for fear (that) he might one day kill me.for fear of doingfor fear of of doing

in fear of/for your life

feeling frightened that you might be killed
in fear of your lifein fear for your life

put the fear of God into someone

to make someone very frightened, especially in order to make them do something
put the fear of God into

strike fear, etc. into someone/sb's heart

(formal) to make someone be afraid, etc.strike fear, etc. into heart

without fear or favor

(formal) in a fair wayThey undertook to make their judgment without fear or favor.without fear or favor
Usage notesThesaurus: fearterror panic alarm frightThese are all words for the bad feeling you have when you are afraid.fear the bad feeling that you have when you are in danger, when something bad might happen, or when a particular thing frightens you: (a) fear of flying She showed no fear.terror a feeling of extreme fear: His eyes were wild with terror.panic a sudden feeling of great fear that cannot be controlled and prevents you from thinking clearly: I had a sudden moment of panic.alarm fear or worry that someone feels when something dangerous or unpleasant might happen: The doctor said there was no cause for alarm.fright a feeling of fear, usually sudden: I cried out in fright.fear or fright?Fright is a reaction to something that has just happened or is happening now. Use fear, but not fright, to talk about things that always frighten you and things that may happen in the future:I have a fright of spiders. his fright of what might happenpatternsa fear/terror of somethingin fear/terror/panic/alarm/frightfear/terror/panic/alarm that…to be filled with fear/terror/panic/alarma feeling of fear/terror/panic/alarm