English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English affrayed, affraied, past participle of afraien (to affray), from Anglo-Norman afrayer (to terrify, disquiet, disturb), from Old French effreer, esfreer (to disturb, remove the peace from), from es- (out) +‎ freer (to secure, secure the peace), from Frankish *friþu (security, peace), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (peace), from Proto-Germanic *frijōną (to free; to love), from Proto-Indo-European *prāy-, *prēy- (to like, love). By surface analysis, affray +‎ -ed. Compare also afeard. More at free, friend.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /əˈfɹeɪd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪd

Adjective edit

afraid (comparative more afraid, superlative most afraid)

(predicative only)

  1. Impressed with fear or apprehension; in fear.
    Synonyms: afeared, alarmed, anxious, apprehensive, fearful, timid, timorous; see also Thesaurus:afraid
    He is afraid of death.
    He is afraid to die.
    He is afraid that he will die.
    • 1964, Harry S. Truman, 2:28 from the start, in MP2002-77 Former President Truman Discusses Bigotry in the United States[1], Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives Identifier: 595162:
      I went through the worst Ku Klux proposition in the country at the time it was at its height. And I had to go down to the Ku Klux meeting and tell them what I thought of them, and I wasn't afraid of them at all. And I'm not afraid of this situation because I think it'll work out in a way that when these people sit down and get a chance to think and study the situation, they're going to be ashamed of some of the things they've done.
  2. (colloquial) Regretful, sorry; expressing a reluctance to face an unpleasant situation.
    Synonym: sorry
    I am afraid I cannot help you in this matter.
  3. (used with for) Worried about, feeling concern for, fearing for (someone or something).

Usage notes edit

  • Afraid expresses a lesser degree of fear than terrified or frightened. It is often followed by the preposition of and the object of fear, or by an infinitive, or by a dependent clause, as shown in the examples above.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

Welsh edit

Etymology edit

af- (un-) +‎ rhaid (necessity)

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

afraid (feminine singular afraid, plural afraid, equative afreidied, comparative afreidiach, superlative afreidiaf)

  1. unnecessary, unessential
    • c. 1500, Ieuan Tew, poem in Cwrt Mawr manuscript no. 5, published and translated 1921 by T. Gwynn Jones, “Cultural Bases. A Study of the Tudor Period in Wales”, Y Cymmrodor. The Magazine of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, vol. 31, page 182:
      mogelwch yma golyn
      a fo goeg, ag afu gwyn—
      a choegddyn crin, ledryn crach,
      o fradwr—nid afreidiach;
      beware of the sting of white-livered wretches, and every withered, niggardly wretch of a traitor—it were not less necessary;
    • c. 1600, Edmwnd Prys, quoted in A Welsh Grammar, Historical and Comparative by J. Morris Jones, Oxford: 1913, p. 44:
      Amlwg fydd trŵyn a’r wyneb;
      Afraid i ni nodi neb.
      Plain is the nose on a face; it is unnecessary for us to mention anyone.

Noun edit

afraid m (plural afreidiau)

  1. superfluity, extravagance

Mutation edit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal h-prothesis
afraid unchanged unchanged hafraid
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading edit

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “afraid”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies