fear and anxiety that somebody feels when something dangerous or unpleasant might happen:
‘What have you done?’ Ellie cried in alarm; I felt a growing sense of alarm when he did not return that night; The doctor said there was no cause for alarm.
SYNONYMS fear alarm • apprehension • fright • foreboding
These are all words for the bad feeling you have when you are afraid.
fear the bad feeling that you have when you are in danger, when something bad might happen, or when a particular thing frightens you: (a) fear of flying; She showed no fear. alarm fear or worry that somebody feels when something dangerous or unpleasant might happen: The doctor said there was no cause for alarm. apprehension worry or fear that something unpleasant may happen: She felt some apprehension at seeing him again. fright a feeling of fear, usually sudden: She cried out in fright.
FEAR OR FRIGHT? Fear is a more general feeling than fright. You can use fear, but not fright, for things that always frighten you and for things that may happen in the future. Fright is a reaction to something that has just happened or is happening now.
foreboding a strong feeling that something unpleasant or dangerous is going to happen: The letter filled him with foreboding.
PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS • afeeling of fear/alarm/apprehension/foreboding • a growing sense of fear/alarm/foreboding • fear/apprehension of/about what might happen • She was shaking/trembling with fear/fright, • His eyes widened in fear/alarm/fright.