fear1 W1S3 [fıə US fır] n
[: Old English; Origin: fAr 'sudden danger']
1.) [U and C]
the feeling you get when you are afraid or worried that something bad is going to happen
The boy's eyes were full of fear.
fear of
a fear of flying
There are fears that share prices could decrease still further.
fear for
The girl's parents expressed fears for her safety.
Their worst fears became a reality.
an irrational fear of spiders
As it turned out, their fears were groundless .
They looked at one another in fear .
Thousands of people are in fear of their lives following the shootings.
Ordinary people lived in fear of being arrested by the secret police.
People must be able to express their views without fear .
Rachel was shaking with fear .
She wept as the policeman confirmed her worst fears .
What hopes and fears do you have for the future?
2.) for fear (that)
, for fear of sth
because you are worried that you will make something happen
She finally ran away for fear that he would kill her.
for fear of doing sth
He got to the station early, for fear of missing her.
3.) no fear!
BrE informal used humorously to say that you are definitely not going to do something
'Are you going to Bill's party tonight?' 'No fear!'
4.) [U]
the possibility or danger that something bad might happen
There's no fear of revolt now.
5.) put the fear of God into sb informal
to make someone feel that they must do something, by making sure they know what will happen if they do not do it
The Italian manager must have put the fear of God into his team.
6.) without fear or favour
BrE formal in a fair way
The law must be enforced without fear or favour.
COLLOCATES for sense 1
fear that
your deepest/worst/greatest fear
irrational fear (=a fear that is not reasonable or based on logic)
groundless fear (=a fear that you need not have because what you are afraid of does not happen)
deep-seated fear (=a very strong fear that is difficult to change)
in fear (of something)
be in fear of/for your life (=afraid that you may be killed)
be/live in fear (of something) (=be always afraid of something)
without fear (of something)
trembling/shivering/shaking with fear
paralysed with fear (=so afraid that you cannot move)
confirm somebody's fears (=show that what you are afraid of has happened)
allay/dispel somebody's fears (=stop someone from being afraid)
somebody's hopes and fears
WORD CHOICE: fear, afraid, frightened
fear (noun) is the feeling of being afraid. Do not say that you 'have fear'. Use be afraid or be frightened : My whole body was paralysed with fear. | She was suddenly very afraid. | We were too frightened to speak .
The verb to fear is used mainly in literature or newspapers, and not usually in speech : She feared that he would not be found alive. |Fearing more riots, the government made concessions.
It is more usual to say that someone is afraid or is frightened : My parents are afraid that I'll get involved with drugs. |People were frightened of being mugged.
fear 2
fear2 W2 v
1.) [I and T]
to feel afraid or worried that something bad may happen
Fearing violence, the group asked for police protection.
fear (that)
Police fear that there may be further terrorist attacks.
fear to do sth
Women feared to go out at night.
fear for sb
His wife seemed depressed, and he feared for his children.
fear for sb's safety/life
a terrifying ordeal in which she feared for her life
Hundreds of people are feared dead in the ferry disaster.
2.) fear the worst
to think that the worst possible thing has happened or might happen
When Tom heard about the accident he immediately feared the worst.
3.) [T]
to be afraid of someone and what they might do
As a leader, he was distrusted and even feared.
4.) I fear
formal used when telling someone that you think that something bad has happened or is true
I fear (that)
I fear that there is little more we can do.
I fear so/I fear not
'Were they satisfied?' 'I fear not.'
5.) fear not/never fear
formal used to tell someone not to worry
Never fear, he'll be with us soon.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • Fear — Fear, n. [OE. fer, feer, fere, AS. f[=ae]r a coming suddenly upon, fear, danger; akin to D. vaar, OHG. f[=a]ra danger, G. gefahr, Icel. f[=a]r harm, mischief, plague, and to E. fare, peril. See {Fare}.] 1. A painful emotion or passion excited by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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