Definition of “afraid” - English Dictionary

“afraid” in British English

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afraidadjective

uk /əˈfreɪd/ us /əˈfreɪd/

afraid adjective (FEAR)

A2 [ after verb ] feeling fear, or feeling worry about the possible results of a particular situation:

He was/felt suddenly afraid.
I've always been afraid of flying/heights/spiders.
She was afraid for her children (= feared that they might be hurt).
[ + to infinitive ] Don't be afraid to say what you think.
[ + (that) ] She was afraid (that) he might be upset if she told him.

More examples

  • She's afraid of being attacked if she walks across the park.
  • He wasn't afraid to stand up to bullies.
  • The government is afraid of further serious rioting today.
  • Being afraid of the dark, she always slept with the light on.
  • Don't go up the tower if you're afraid of heights.

afraid adjective (SORRY)

I'm afraid...

More examples

  • I'm afraid I'm not a very good advertisement for the diet since I've actually put on weight!
  • I'm afraid physics will always be a closed book to me.
  • I'm afraid I disagree with you on several counts .
  • I'm afraid those days are gone and they'll never come again.
  • My culinary skills are rather limited, I'm afraid!

A2 used to politely introduce bad news or disagreement:

This is your room - it's rather small, I'm afraid.
I don't agree at all, I'm afraid.
I'm afraid you've completely misunderstood the question.
[ + (that) ] I'm afraid (that) we can't come this evening after all.
"Was she impressed with our work?" "I'm afraid not (= no)."
"Does this mean I've got to leave?" "I'm afraid so." (= Yes.)

Grammar

(Definition of “afraid” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“afraid” in American English

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afraidadjective

us /əˈfreɪd/

afraid adjective (FEARFUL)

feeling fear, or feeling anxiety about the possible results of a particular situation:

She was afraid, but never thought of quitting.
I’ve always been afraid of heights.
Dad’s afraid I’ll end up like my cousin.
He’s not afraid of losing.

afraid adjective (FEELING REGRET)

[ not gradable ] feeling regret, esp. because something is not the way you think it should be:

A lot of those stores will cheat you, I’m afraid.

(Definition of “afraid” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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