fear

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See also: Fear, féar, and fear-

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English feer, fere, fer, from Old English fǣr, ġefǣr (calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack, terrible sight), from Proto-Germanic *fērō, *fērą (danger), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (to attempt, try, research, risk). Cognate with Dutch gevaar (danger, risk, peril), German Gefahr (danger, risk, hazard), Swedish fara (danger, risk, peril), Latin perīculum (danger, risk, trial), Albanian frikë (fear, danger), Romanian frică.

The verb is from Middle English feren, from Old English fǣran (to frighten, raven), from the noun. Cognate with the archaic Dutch verb varen (to fear; to cause fear).

Noun[edit]

fear (countable and uncountable, plural fears)

  1. (uncountable) A strong, uncontrollable, unpleasant emotion or feeling caused by actual or perceived danger or threat.
    He was struck by fear on seeing the snake.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      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, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      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[1]:
      ‘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.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
      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.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (an emotion caused by actual or perceived danger; a sense of fear induced by something or someone): See Thesaurus:fear
  • (terrified veneration): dread
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive) To be afraid of (something or someone); to consider or expect (something or someone) with alarm.
    I fear the worst will happen.
  2. (intransitive) To feel fear.
    Never fear; help is always near.
  3. (intransitive, used with for) To worry about, to feel concern for, to be afraid for.
    She fears for her son’s safety.
  4. (transitive) To venerate; to feel awe towards.
    People who fear God can be found in Christian churches.
  5. (transitive) To regret.
    I fear I have bad news for you: your husband has died.
  6. (obsolete, transitive) To cause fear to; to frighten.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To be anxious or solicitous for.
  8. (obsolete, transitive) To suspect; to doubt.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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.

Adjective[edit]

fear (comparative more fear, superlative most fear)

  1. (dialectal) Able; capable; stout; strong; sound.
    hale and fear
Alternative forms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Irish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Irish fer, from Proto-Celtic *wiros, from Proto-Indo-European *wiHrós. Cognate with Welsh gŵr, Breton gour, Cornish gour, Gaulish viros, Latin vir, Sanskrit वीर (vīra), Lithuanian výras, Avestan 𐬬𐬍𐬭𐬀(vīra), and Old English wer.

Noun[edit]

fear m (genitive singular fir, nominative plural fir)

  1. man (adult male)
    Tá an fear ag ól uisce.
    The man is drinking water.
    Sláinte chuig na fir agus go maire na mná go deo!
    Health to the men and may the women live forever!
  2. husband, male spouse
Declension[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle Irish feraid, from Old Irish feraid.

Verb[edit]

fear (present analytic fearann, future analytic fearfaidh, verbal noun fearadh, past participle feartha)

  1. (transitive) grant, provide
  2. (transitive) pour out, give forth, shed
  3. (transitive) wage
  4. (transitive) perform, execute; hold, observe
  5. (transitive) affect; benefit
  6. (transitive) excrete
Conjugation[edit]

Mutation[edit]

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.

Further reading[edit]

  • "fear" in Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “1 fer”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language
  • Tomás de Bhaldraithe, 1977, Gaeilge Chois Fhairrge: An Deilbhíocht, 2nd edition, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, section 5 and page 339.
  • Entries containing “fear” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
  • Entries containing “fear” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.

Scots[edit]

Noun[edit]

fear (plural fears)

  1. fear

Verb[edit]

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

  1. to fear
  2. to frighten, scare

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish fer, from Proto-Celtic *wiros, from Proto-Indo-European *wiHrós.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fear m (genitive singular fir, plural fir)

  1. man
  2. husband, male spouse

Declension[edit]

First declension; forms with the definite article:

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

Derived terms[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

fear (genitive fir)

  1. somebody, something, one

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Mutation[edit]

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

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


West Frisian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Frisian fethere, from Proto-West Germanic *feþru, from Proto-Germanic *feþrō, from Proto-Indo-European *péth₂r̥. Cognate with English feather, Greek φτερό (fteró, wing, feather), Latin penna (wing, feather) and Irish éan (bird)

Noun[edit]

fear c (plural fearren, diminutive fearke)

  1. feather
  2. spring (mechanical device)
Further reading[edit]
  • fear (I)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011

Etymology 2[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *farjǭ. Cognate with Dutch veer, English ferry.

Noun[edit]

fear n (plural fearen)

  1. ferry
Further reading[edit]
  • fear (II)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Frisian *farn, from Proto-West Germanic *farn.

Noun[edit]

fear c (plural fearen)

  1. fern
Further reading[edit]
  • fear (III)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011

Etymology 4[edit]

From Old Frisian *farch, from Proto-Germanic *farhaz. Cognate with English farrow.

Adjective[edit]

fear

  1. farrow
Inflection[edit]
Inflection of fear
uninflected fear
inflected feare
comparative
positive
predicative/adverbial fear
indefinite c. sing. feare
n. sing. fear
plural feare
definite feare
partitive fears
Further reading[edit]
  • fear (V)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011