100 Synonyms for “Afraid” with Examples | Another Word for “Afraid”

Last Updated on November 29, 2023

In this article, we embark on a fascinating journey through the synonyms of “afraid,” delving into the diverse nuances of language to unveil a rich tapestry of emotions. Join us as we navigate through the labyrinth of fear, exploring a multitude of words that eloquently capture the essence of this deeply human experience.

Afraid Synonyms

Another Word for “Afraid” | List of 100 Synonyms for "Afraid"Pin

Afraid Meaning

The adjective “afraid” describes the state of feeling fear, anxiety, or apprehension about a potential harm or unwanted outcome. When you say you’re afraid, you’re experiencing a range of emotional responses that can include mild concern to intense fear.


  1. I was afraid of the dark as a child, but now I find it comforting.
  2. She hesitated to speak up in the meeting, afraid of being judged by her colleagues.
  3. Despite feeling afraid, he summoned the courage to confront his fears.
  4. They were afraid that their secret would be exposed.
  5. The loud noise made the dog afraid and anxious.

List of Synonyms for Afraid

  • Afeard
  • Affrighted
  • Aghast
  • Agitated
  • Alarmed
  • Anxious
  • Appalled
  • Apprehensive
  • Averse
  • Backward
  • Bashful
  • Be afraid
  • Birdhearted
  • Cautious
  • Chary
  • Chicken
  • Chicken-livered
  • Concerned
  • Coward
  • Cowardly
  • Cowed
  • Coy
  • Craven
  • Daunted
  • Diffident
  • Discouraged
  • Disinclined
  • Dismayed
  • Distressed
  • Disturbed
  • Fainthearted
  • Faint-hearted
  • Fear
  • Feared
  • Fearful
  • Fearful
  • Fearsome
  • Freaked
  • Frightened
  • Frightening
  • Frozen
  • Funky
  • Gutless
  • Have cold feet
  • Hesitant
  • Horrified
  • Hung up
  • Indisposed
  • Insecure
  • Intimidated
  • Jittery
  • Jumpy
  • Lily-livered
  • Loath
  • Mousy
  • Nervous
  • Panicked
  • Panicky
  • Panic-stricken
  • Perturbed
  • Petrified
  • Piker
  • Pusillanimous
  • Rabbitly
  • Recreant
  • Reluctant
  • Running scared
  • Scared stiff
  • Scared to death
  • Scaredy
  • Scaredy-cat
  • Scary
  • Shaky
  • Shocked
  • Shrinking
  • Shy
  • Sissy
  • Sorry
  • Spooked
  • Startled
  • Stunned
  • Suspicious
  • Terrified
  • Terror-stricken
  • Timid
  • Timorous
  • Tremulous
  • Troubled
  • Uncourageous
  • Uneager
  • Uneasy
  • Unhappy
  • Unnerved
  • Unwilling
  • Upset
  • Wary
  • Weak-kneed
  • White-livered
  • Worried

Types of Synonyms for Afraid

Mild Fear and Concern

  • Worry
  • Concern

Moderate Fear

  • Fright
  • Dread

Severe Fear

  • Terror
  • Horror

Specific Contexts

  • Panic
  • Phobia

Common Synonyms for Afraid

Afraid vs. Scared

Afraid encompasses a general feeling of fear, often implying concern or anxiety about possible harm. On the other hand, scared suggests a more immediate and intense reaction to a specific threat. While you might be afraid of an upcoming event due to its uncertain outcome, you are likely scared when confronted with an imminent and clear danger.

  • She felt afraid when she heard about the storm approaching the area.
  • He was scared when he saw the car swerving out of control toward him.

Afraid vs. Frightened

While both afraid and frightened relate to fear, frightened implies a more sudden and intense sense of fear. You can use frightened when you’re describing a startled response, such as jumping back in alarm when a dog barks unexpectedly.

  • She was afraid of the dark and didn’t want to go into the basement.
  • I was frightened by the sudden loud noise.

Afraid vs. Terrified

The term terrified denotes an extreme level of fear, one that overwhelms and may even paralyze. If you’re afraid of heights, your hands might sweat at the thought of scaling a ladder, but if you’re terrified, you may find yourself utterly unable to climb it at all.

  • The hiker was afraid of encountering a bear while trekking in the woods.
  • The little girl was terrified of the sound of fireworks and would hide under her bed whenever they went off.

Afraid vs. Panic

Panic is a synonym indicating a sudden, uncontrollable fear that can cause wildly unthinking behavior. Unlike simple apprehension you might associate with being afraidpanic signals a more profound fear that often leads to a state of confusion and desperation, like during an emergency.

  • She was afraid to watch the horror movie alone, so she asked her friend to join her.
  • The panic shoppers rushed to the exits when the fire alarm went off in the mall.

Synonyms for Afraid in Different Contexts

Anxiety Disorders

  • Panic-stricken: The sudden loud noise left her panic-stricken and unable to move.
  • Phobic: He was phobic of spiders and would scream at the sight of one.

Literary and Creative Writing

  • Terrified: The protagonist’s heart raced as she felt terrified by the eerie noises echoing through the abandoned house.
  • Horrified: As the gruesome scene unfolded before her, she stood there, horrified by the sheer brutality of the act.

Professional and Academic Discourse

  • Apprehensive: The investors were apprehensive about the economic forecast and its potential impact on their portfolios.
  • Foreboding: The author’s use of dark imagery created a sense of foreboding throughout the novel, hinting at the impending doom for the protagonist.

Everyday Conversations

  • Scared: She was scared of the dark and always slept with a night light.
  • Worried: He was worried about his upcoming exam and spent hours studying to prepare.

Colloquialisms and Slang

  • Chicken: He didn’t want to try the roller coaster because he was afraid of looking like a chicken in front of his friends.
  • Spooked: The unexpected noise in the dark alley spooked her, causing her to jump and look around.
  • Freaked out: She was freaked out by the thought of having to give a speech in front of a large audience.
  • Wimp: He was called a wimp for not standing up to the bully.
  • Scaredy-cat: The little girl was often teased for being a scaredy-cat when it came to watching scary movies.

Absolute and Near Synonyms for Afraid

Absolute Synonyms for Afraid

Word Meaning
Scared Feeling fear or being frightened.
Terrified Experiencing extreme fear, often more intense than just being afraid.

Near Synonyms for Afraid

Word Meaning
Apprehensive Feeling anxious about something that might happen.
Nervous Involving anxiety and apprehension, particularly about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some alternative words for ‘afraid’?

Words like scared, fearful, and anxious serve as alternatives to ‘afraid’. They can be used interchangeably in many contexts to describe a general sense of fear or concern.

How can you describe someone who is feeling terrified?

Describing someone as terror-stricken or horror-struck emphasizes the intensity of fear they are experiencing, indicating a powerful and overwhelming sense of dread.

Can you provide examples of words that express intense fear?

Words such as petrified, panic-stricken, and horrified convey an acute and often paralyzing intensity of fear.

What expressions can be used to convey a mild sense of fear?

Expressions like uneasy, faint-hearted, or timid are useful when you want to express a gentler or more hesitant form of fear.

What do you call a person who is constantly in a state of fear?

A person frequently in a state of fear may be described as phobic, particularly if their fear is irrational, or as anxiety-ridden if their fear is more generalized and persistent.


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