100+ Synonyms for “Fear” with Examples | Another Word for “Fear”

Last Updated on November 27, 2023

We often encounter situations where we need to find just the right synonym for fear to accurately convey what we or others are experiencing. Maybe you’re crafting a tale that requires a subtler expression of fear than the word “terrified” offers, or you’re searching for a less common term to describe that feeling of dread before a big presentation. Using a variety of synonyms can add depth to our communications and help us capture the precise nuance we’re aiming for.

Fear Synonyms

Another Word for Fear | 95+ Synonyms for "Fear" with Useful ExamplesPin

What Is “Fear”?

Fear is a natural emotion experienced in response to perceived threats, and it plays a critical role in keeping us safe. It evokes a spectrum of feelings, from mild caution to intense terror.

List of Synonyms for Fear

  • Anxiety
  • Apprehension
  • Dread
  • Fright
  • Panic
  • Terror
  • Alarm
  • Trepidation
  • Worry
  • Unease
  • Foreboding
  • Consternation
  • Disquiet
  • Horror
  • Nervousness
  • Phobia
  • Jitters
  • Misgiving
  • Hesitation
  • Timidity
  • Angst
  • Concern
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Suspicion
  • Paranoia
  • Intimidation
  • Scare
  • Awe
  • Shock
  • Dismay
  • Fearfulness
  • Cold feet
  • Creeps
  • Goosebumps
  • Qualms
  • Scepticism
  • Wariness
  • Chill
  • Cowardice
  • Funk
  • Heebie-jeebies
  • Jumpiness
  • Shivers
  • Stage fright
  • Twitchiness
  • Yips
  • Affright
  • Perturbation
  • Startlement
  • Terrorization
  • Thralldom
  • Panic attack
  • Mortification
  • Anticipation
  • Apprehensiveness
  • Insecurity
  • Night terrors
  • Cold sweat
  • Faintheartedness
  • Fear and trembling
  • Fray
  • Nightmare
  • Presentiment
  • Revulsion
  • Spook
  • Tension
  • Trepidity
  • Uneasiness
  • Willies
  • Horror-struck
  • Abhorrence
  • Aversion
  • Bugbear
  • Daunting
  • Distrust
  • Ennui
  • Fidgetiness
  • Flinch
  • Gloom
  • Hysteria
  • Loathing
  • Monstrosity
  • Obsession
  • Overwhelm
  • Recoil
  • Repulsion
  • Scarecrow
  • Timorousness
  • Trembling
  • Veneration
  • Wince
  • Anguish
  • Consternation
  • Diffidence
  • Discomposure
  • Disconcertion
  • Distress
  • Fretfulness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Horror-stricken
  • Lurking
  • Pavor
  • Perturbance
  • Pessimism
  • Premonition
  • Repugnance
  • Screamish
  • Shudder
  • Stiffness
  • Sweat
  • Terror-stricken
  • Torment
  • Trepidity
  • Watchfulness
  • Wretchedness
  • Xenophobia
  • Yellow streak

Types of Synonyms for Fear

Generalized Fear

  • Anxiety: A more constant, generalized sense of concern.
  • Worry: Less intense than fear but implies a persistent sense of unease.

Sudden and Acute Fear

  • Fright: A sudden fear, often one that surprises us.
  • Panic: Intense, overwhelming, and often sudden dread or terror.

Intense Fear

  • Terror: Extreme fear that can cause paralysis or frantic efforts to escape.
  • Horror: A combination of fear and revulsion or shock.

Fear with Uncertainty or Anticipation

  • Dread: Anticipatory fear, often about something specific that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Foreboding: A sense of impending evil or a doom-laden fear.

Phobic or Irrational Fears

  • Phobia: An extreme, irrational fear of specific situations, objects, or activities.
  • Aversion: A strong dislike or disinclination that can contain elements of fear.

Common Synonyms for Fear 

Fear vs. Anxiety

Fear is a response to immediate, known threats, while anxiety often involves a sense of dread about something that may happen in the future.

  • When she saw the snake, a sudden wave of fear washed over her.
  • He felt a gnawing anxiety about the job interview scheduled for the next day.

Fear vs. Afraid

While afraid is an adjective describing a state of fear, fear is often used as a noun or verb. Afraid specifically describes feelings of fear concerning something or someone.

  • She could not overcome her fear of the dark.
  • He was afraid to confront his boss about the issue.

Fear vs. Phobia

phobia is an intense, irrational fear of a specific situation, activity, or thing, which can lead to avoidance behavior, unlike a general sense of fear, which may not be specific or irrational.

  • His fear was palpable when he heard the storm approaching.
  • She has arachnophobia, an extreme phobia of spiders, that causes her great distress.

Fear vs. Panic

Panic is a sudden, overwhelming fear that often leads to irrational thinking and behavior, while fear can range from mild to severe and doesn’t always result in panic.

  • The fear of failure often held him back from trying new things.
  • The crowd descended into panic when the alarms began to blare.

Synonyms for Fear in Different Contexts

Mild Concern

When we’re talking about a less intense level of fear, words like anxiety and worry come into play. These are often used when the fear isn’t necessarily immediate or life-threatening.

  • Anxiety: “He feels a flutter of anxiety before giving a big presentation.”
  • Worry: “We worry about our friends when they travel in bad weather.”

Immediate Danger

In situations where there’s an imminent threat, synonyms like terror and panic are more fitting.

  • Terror: “News of the impending hurricane struck terror in the hearts of the coastal town’s residents.”
  • Panic: “The sound of the fire alarm sent us into a state of panic.”

Lingering Dread

Sometimes, fear lingers as a constant sense of dread. Apprehension and foreboding are terms we use in these scenarios.

  • Apprehension: “The student felt a wave of apprehension as she approached the podium to give her speech.”
  • Foreboding: “There’s a sense of foreboding in the air as we enter the old, abandoned house.”

Strong Aversion or Fear

Phobia or aversion is what we call our fear when it’s specific and often debilitating.

  • Phobia: “After watching a documentary on plane crashes, he found himself struggling with a newfound phobia of flying.”
  • Aversion: “We have a strong aversion to heights, making us uneasy on the top floor.”

Absolute and Near Synonyms of Fear 

Absolute Synonyms for Fear 

Synonym Meaning
Terror Intense, sharp, overmastering fear
Fright Sudden fear induced by shock or surprise
Horror A strong fear mixed with disgust or revulsion
Panic Sudden uncontrollable fear, often causing wildly unthinking behavior
Dread Anticipation of fear or apprehension about something that will happen

Near Synonyms for Fear 

Synonym Meaning
Anxiety Fear about what might happen, often less intense
Nervousness Worry or tension about a potential negative outcome
Apprehension Fearful anticipation of the future, not necessarily immediate danger
Concern Mild worry or fear, usually about something specific
Alarm Sudden fear caused by the realization of danger
Worry A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems

Synonyms for Fear with Examples | Infographic

Another Word for Fear | 95+ Synonyms for "Fear" with Useful ExamplesPin

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some alternative words for being scared?

When we express the feeling of being scared, we often interchange it with words like terrified, horrified, or alarmed.

Can you list five words that mean similar to afraid?

Certainly, five words that echo the sentiment of being afraid include apprehensive, fearful, petrified, spooked, and panic-stricken.

What term describes someone who is both fearful and anxious?

A person who is both fearful and anxious could be described as trepidatious, which encompasses the essence of both states.

Could you provide a synonym for anxiety?

One synonym for anxiety that we frequently come across is unease, which conveys a similar sense of nervousness and worry.

Is there a more sophisticated term for the feeling of being scared?

A more sophisticated or formal term for being scared could be “intimidated,” which implies a reaction to being overpowered or overwhelmed.

Which words could I use to describe a very fearful situation?

To describe a situation that is very fearful, we might use words like harrowing, dire, or dread-inducing, each adding a level of intensity to the scenario.

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