afraid


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be afraid of (one's) (own) shadow

To be easily or constantly spooked, nervous, timid, afraid, or fearfully suspicious. I can't say I have much faith in Johnny helping us on this expedition—that boy's afraid of his own shadow! You can't live life being afraid of your shadow—you need to get out into the world and taste adventure!
See also: afraid, of, shadow

(I'm) (a)fraid not

A response used to reluctantly decline an invitation or politely answer a question in the negative, indicating regret that the answer is "no." When the phrase is abbreviated to "'fraid not," an apostrophe is sometimes used in place of the missing letter. A: "Will you be able to attend the meeting tomorrow?" B: "I'm afraid not. I'm going to be out of town." A: "Could you loan me a hundred bucks?" B: "'Fraid not. I'm broke."
See also: not

afraid of (one's) own shadow

Easily scared; jumpy; timid. Everyone was surprised that Janice led the meeting with confidence, as she normally seems afraid of her own shadow. Please don't take my sister to a haunted house on Halloween—she's afraid of her own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

(I'm) (a)fraid so

A response used to politely answer a question in the affirmative when the speaker regrets that this is the case. When the phrase is abbreviated to "'fraid so," an apostrophe is sometimes used in place of the missing letter. A: "Are you really moving all the way across the country?" B: "I'm afraid so." A: "Are you going to be working late again tonight?" B: "'Fraid so."

I'm afraid

I'm sorry to say. Used to politely introduce or soften a statement that may be unpleasant, upsetting, or disappointing. I'm afraid that your application has been rejected due to a failure to provide adequate documentation. I was hoping I'd be there in time to see the performance, but they canceled my flight because of the snow, I'm afraid.
See also: afraid

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.

One engaging in a risky or dangerous endeavor may find it easier to continue with it rather than facing the consequences of attempting to quit or abandon it. It has now become obvious that our country has been riding a tiger with our military intervention in this region—he who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
See also: afraid, he, ride, tiger, who

afraid of one's own shadow

Fig. easily frightened; always frightened, timid, or suspicious. (An exaggeration.) After Tom was robbed, he was even afraid of his own shadow.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.

Prov. Sometimes it is more dangerous to stop doing a dangerous thing than it is to continue doing it. Jill: You shouldn't take out another loan. You're already too far in debt. Jane: If I don't take out a loan, I can't make the payments on the loans I already have. You know how it is—she who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
See also: afraid, dismount, he, ride, tiger, who

(I'm) afraid not.

 and 'Fraid not.
I believe, regrettably, that the answer is no. (The apostrophe is not always shown.) Rachel: Can I expect any help with this problem? Henry: I'm afraid not. Andrew: Will you be there when I get there? Bill: Afraid not.
See also: afraid, not

(I'm) afraid so.

 and 'Fraid so.
I believe, regrettably, that the answer is yes. (The apostrophe is not always shown.) Alice: Do you have to go? John: Afraid so. Rachel: Can I expect some difficulty with Mr. Franklin? Bob: I'm afraid so.
See also: afraid

afraid of one's own shadow

Very timid and fearful, as in Richard constantly worries about security; he's afraid of his own shadow. This hyperbole has been used in English since the early 1500s, and some writers believe it originated in ancient Greece.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of your own shadow

If someone is afraid of their own shadow, they are very nervous and shy. She's afraid of everything these days — afraid of her own shadow. Note: Adjectives such as scared or frightened can be used instead of afraid. He used to be scared of his own shadow as a little boy.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

afraid of (or frightened of) your own shadow

unreasonably timid or nervous.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow

I’m afraid (that)...

(spoken) used as a polite way of telling somebody something that is unpleasant or disappointing, or something that you are sorry about: I’m afraid I can’t come to your party.‘Have you got change for ten pounds?’ ‘I’m afraid not.’I’ve got some bad news, I’m afraid.‘Is this the best you can do?’ ‘I’m afraid so.’

afraid of one's own shadow

Extremely timid, excessively fearful. In Richard III (ca. 1513), Sir Thomas More wrote, “Who may lette her feare her owne shadowe,” although a few years later Erasmus cited Plato as having said the same thing in Greek hundreds of years before. Henry David Thoreau used the phrase to describe the timidity of Concord’s town selectmen in refusing to toll the parish bell at John Brown’s hanging (1859), and by then it had been in use for at least two centuries.
See also: afraid, of, own, shadow
References in periodicals archive ?
class="MsoNormalJust like I realised with my son, I or anybody else cannot tell you not to be afraid. We are afraid of starting businesses, growing businesses, approaching clients, dealing with our money, facing our debt, pursuing different career options, annoying other people, retiring and so on.
"Why does Musharraf need protection, what is he so afraid of?
I'm not afraid to be ejected from the opera house for
Here's the thing: we cannot avoid being afraid, but we can do everything afraid.
"I realised that lying flat on my back as I was with my pants down meant I was very vulnerable and I was very much afraid. It embarrassed me really."
The proportion saying that people in their neighborhood were afraid to walk their streets at night was 39-52 percent in 1989-92, 38-44 percent in 1993-98, 38-41 percent in 1999-01, 41-50 percent in 2002-10, and 40-51 percent in 2011-2016.
2) Terrorist attacks (41% "afraid" or "very afraid")
Don't miss Season 2 of "Naked and Afraid XL" when it airs Sundays on Discovery Channel at 10 p.m.
THE Archbishop of Wales will tell the country "not to be afraid" tomorrow, when he delivers his annual Easter message.
There is a clear and expanding tendency by education managers - I hesitate to use the word "leaders" too broadly just now - to be afraid of doing what's right.
DRAWING equal inspiration from the theatricality of progressive rock and the energy of punk, cult Liverpool band Afraid of Mice formed in 1979.
What I mean is that when we tell lies we do it because we are afraid of what other people would think of us, or do to us, if they knew the truth; but although we know that God reads our hearts and hates all untruthfulness, we do not mind.
Nations of drummers leaving the world above, a diaspora afraid of being left, afraid of losing love, afraid of doing something wrong.
You're probably thinking- 'She's a bazillionaire socialite, she can suck it up!' But in reality, Paris is afraid for her life because she has been burned in the past.
They may be afraid they will be sent to jail, their power connection snapped.