Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “dread”


verb [T]     /dred/
C2 to feel extremely worried or frightened about something that is going to happen or that might happen : He's dreading his driving test - he's sure he's going to fail . [+ -ing verb] I'm dreading hav ing to meet his parents .AfraidCausing anxiety and worryMaking people sad, shocked and upset dread to think C2 used to say that you do not want to think about something because it is too worrying : I dread to think what would happen if he was left to cope on his own.Anxious and worried
(Definition of dread verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of dread

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Afraid, but you might be interested in these topics from the Fear and danger topic area:

Definitions of “dread” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More