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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dread (audio)

Dictionary definition of dread

To have a deep and intense feeling of fear, anxiety, or apprehension towards something that is anticipated or expected to be unpleasant or threatening.
"Many people dread the thought of public speaking."

Detailed meaning of dread

It encompasses a sense of unease and a strong aversion towards a particular situation, event, or outcome. When one dreads something, there is a pervasive sense of impending doom or discomfort associated with it, often leading to a sense of paralysis or avoidance. It is characterized by a heightened state of emotional distress and a strong desire to avoid or escape the source of dread. The feeling of dread can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as an upcoming exam, a challenging task, a social event, or an impending confrontation.

Example sentences containing dread

1. I dread the thought of public speaking; it makes me anxious.
2. Please don't make me go to that event, I dread social gatherings.
3. The student had a sense of dread as the exam day approached.
4. She couldn't help but dread the long and tiring journey ahead.
5. We all experienced a feeling of dread when the storm approached.
6. The child had a deep dread of the dark and insisted on sleeping with a nightlight.

History and etymology of dread

The verb 'dread' has an etymology that can be traced back to Old English. It is derived from the Old English word 'drǣdan,' which means 'to fear' or 'to be afraid of.' This Old English term is believed to have evolved from even earlier Germanic roots. Therefore, the etymology of 'dread' conveys the concept of having a deep and intense feeling of fear, anxiety, or apprehension toward something that is anticipated or expected to be unpleasant or threatening. Over time, the word has retained its fundamental meaning, describing the powerful and often paralyzing emotion of dread, which can be evoked by the anticipation of daunting or fearful situations.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dread

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Further usage examples of dread

1. The thought of confronting her boss filled her with dread.
2. I dread Mondays because they mark the start of a busy workweek.
3. He felt a sense of dread wash over him as he realized he had forgotten something important.
4. The patient's dread of needles made the vaccination process difficult.
5. The dark clouds looming overhead filled the villagers with a sense of dread.
6. The protagonist in the horror movie could feel the dread building with each passing scene.
7. The actor portrayed a character who was paralyzed by dread and fear.
8. The impending deadline for the project filled him with a sense of dread.
9. The anticipation of receiving bad news filled her with dread.
10. The young child's eyes widened with dread as they saw the monster under their bed.
11. The soldier couldn't shake off the constant feeling of dread in the war zone.
12. The eerie silence in the haunted house sent shivers of dread down her spine.
13. The protagonist's heart raced with dread as they opened the mysterious package.
14. Despite her best efforts, she couldn't escape the grip of dread that weighed heavily on her mind.
15. I dread going to the dentist tomorrow.
16. The students dread taking the final exam next week.
17. Parents often dread the day their children leave for college.
18. We dread the heavy traffic on the way home.
19. They dread the cold of winter and can't wait for spring.
20. I dread the long lines at the grocery store on weekends.
21. I dread answering the phone when I don't recognize the number.
22. The villagers dread the annual flooding of the river.
23. I dread the day when I have to say goodbye to my old dog.
24. They dread the possibility of another economic recession.



fear, anticipate, relish, welcome


Challenges and Distress, Adversities and Complications, Danger and Threat, Anguish and Despair, Emotional Intensity and Reactions, Anxiety and Fear

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