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verb

Definition of dread 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to fear greatly can't swim and dreads the water a dreaded disease

b archaic : to regard with awe

2 : to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face dread the future dreaded telling him the truth dread the thought of speaking in public

intransitive verb

: to be apprehensive or fearful dread not

dread

noun

Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : great fear especially in the face of impending evil were filled with dread by reports of another terrorist attack

b : extreme uneasiness in the face of a disagreeable prospect (see prospect entry 1 sense 4c) dread of a social blunder

c archaic : awe

2 : one causing fear or awe the days of wooden ships and wooden homes, when fire was an omnipresent dread —F. W. Saunders

3a : dreadlock sense 1 trimming each dread

b dreads plural : dreadlock sense 2 looked great in dreads

dread

adjective

Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : causing great fear or anxiety dread diseases

2 : inspiring awe our dread king

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Choose the Right Synonym for dread

Noun

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety. faced the meeting with dread fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear. fright at being awakened suddenly alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger. view the situation with alarm panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity. the news caused widespread panic terror implies the most extreme degree of fear. immobilized with Supra Shoe Skate Stacks Ii Grey White Black terror trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation. raised the subject with trepidation

Examples of dread in a Sentence

Verb

He can't swim and dreads going in the water. She dreaded making speeches in front of large audiences.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The very idea of schools as bunkers makes me dread closing my eyes tonight. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "The nation's divide over guns is a disturbing echo of the past," 11 June 2018 Manufacturers of plastic straws, dreading the economic impact, have responded that the problem is not the straws but their disposal. Kate Krader, Bloomberg.com, "Paper Straws Are So Hot Right Now, There’s Been a Run on Supplies," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dread.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dread

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dread

Verb

Middle English dreden, from Old English drǣdan

Noun

see dread entry 1

Adjective

see dread entry 1

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Statistics for dread

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Top 20% of words

Time Traveler for dread

The first known use of dread was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dread

dread

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dread

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to fear something that will or might happen

dread

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

: a strong feeling of fear about something that will or might happen

: a person or thing that causes fear

dread

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

: causing great fear

dread

verb
dreaded; dreading

Kids Definition of dread

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to fear or dislike greatly He can't swim and dreads going into the water.

2 : to be very unwilling to face I dread Monday.

Kids Definition of dread (Entry 2 of 3)

: great fear especially of something that will or might happen … her dread of water was greater than her fear of the dark … —L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

dread

adjective

Kids Definition of dread (Entry 3 of 3)

: causing great fear or anxiety a dread disease

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Comments on dread

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