[uncountable, countable, usually singular] a feeling of great fear about something that might or will happen in the future; a thing that causes this feeling The prospect of growing old fills me with dread. She has an irrational dread of hospitals. The committee members live in dread of (= are always worried about) anything that may cause a scandal. My greatest dread is that my parents will find out. See related entries: Nervous Word Origin Old English ādrǣdan, ondrǣdan, of West Germanic origin; related to Old High German intrātan.Extra examples Does the thought of flying fill you with dread? He had a dread of hospitals. He lived in constant dread that one day he might be found out. Her greatest dread was that she would lose her job. her dread of discovery the dread she felt at the thought of meeting him again The committee members live in dread of anything that may cause a scandal. The prospect of growing old alone fills me with dread.