American English

Definition of fear verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fear
    he / she / it fears
    past simple feared
    -ing form fearing
    jump to other results
  1. 1[transitive] to be frightened of someone or something, or frightened of doing something fear somebody/something All his employees fear him. to fear death/persecution/the unknown Everyone feared the coming war. Don't worry, you have nothing to fear from us. fear to do something (formal) He feared to tell them the truth. fear doing something (formal) She feared going out at night.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to feel that something bad might have happened or might happen in the future fear something She has been missing for three days now and police are beginning to fear the worst (= think that she is dead). fear somebody/something + adj. Hundreds of people are feared dead. be feared to be/have something Women and children are feared to be among the victims. it is feared (that)… It is feared (that) he may have been kidnapped. fear (that)… She feared (that) he might be dead. (formal or humorous) Never fear/Fear not (= Don't worry), I shall return.
  3. 3I fear [intransitive] (formal) used to tell someone that you think that something bad has happened or is true They are unlikely to get here on time, I fear. “He must be dead then.” “I fear so.” “She's not coming back?” “I fear not.”
  4. Phrasal Verbsfear for somebody/something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: fear