for fear of

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for fear of something

out of fear for something; because of fear of something. He doesn't drive for fear of an accident. They lock their car doors for fear of being attacked.
See also: fear, of

for fear of

Also, for fear that. In order to avoid or prevent, in case of. For example, They closed all the windows for fear of rain. The variant is always used before a clause, as in She wouldn't let her children climb trees for fear that they would fall. The first term dates from the late 1400s, the second from about 1600.
See also: fear, of