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- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɪə(ɹ)fəl/, /ˈfɪə(ɹ)fʊl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfɪɹfəl/, /ˈfɪɹfʊl/
- (obsolete) IPA(key): /ˈfɜː(ɹ)fəl/, /ˈfɜː(ɹ)fʊl/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)fəl, -ɪə(ɹ)fʊl, -ɪɹfəl, -ɪɹfʊl
- Hyphenation: fear‧ful
- Frightening; causing fear.
- 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 184:
- In the later Hebrew midrash Lilith is presented as the woman who knows how to recite the fearful name of God to work calamity; that this little girl cries out the fearful name of the sun god and thereby causes an earthquake would indicate that this girl is linked in the structure of the myth with Lilith.
- Tending to fear; timid.
- a fearful boy
- (dated) Terrible; shockingly bad.
- 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House:
- But every day after dinner, for an hour, we were all together, and then the Favourite and the rest of the Royal Hareem competed who should most beguile the leisure of the Serene Haroun reposing from the cares of State — which were generally, as in most affairs of State, of an arithmetical character, the Commander of the Faithful being a fearful boggler at a sum.
- (now rare) Frightened; filled with terror.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- kings ſhall crouch vnto our conquering ſwords,
And hoſtes of Souldiers ſtand amazd at vs,
When with their fearfull tongues they ſhall confeſſe
Theſe are the men that al the world admires,
tending to fear
frightened, filled with terror
- 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.
Translations to be checked
- (dialect) Extremely; fearfully.
- 2009, Juliette Shapiro, Mr. Darcy's Decision: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice:
- “He is fearful handsome, as you know,” she said remorsefully, “you cannot imagine, Georgiana, the joy when I first fell in love with him.”
- 2014, Diana Wynne Jones, The Chrestomanci series:
- “It's a fearful strong charm needs dragon's blood,” he said plaintively.
- 2014, Michael Brock, Eleanor Brock, Margot Asquith's Great War Diary 1914-1916:
- His Dardanelles expedition gave the Turk a fearful long start.
- “fearful” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- “fearful” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.