for fear of something/of doing something

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for fear of (something)

Because one is afraid of something or that something will happen. We closed the shop early for fear of the impending snow storm.
See also: fear, of

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

for fear of something/of doing something

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for fear (that)...

because you do not want something bad to happen: I’m not going to put it in the washing machine for fear of spoiling it.I had to keep my opinions secret for fear (that) I would lose my job.
See also: fear, of, something
References in classic literature ?
He knew that Madame Karenina was there, and Betsy, and his brother's wife, and he purposely did not go near them for fear of something distracting his attention.
He said that following the inquest, he feared more snake owners would get rid of their pets for fear of something similar happening to them.
Mr Hopkins said that following the inquest, which took place in England this week, he feared more snake owners would get rid of their pets for fear of something similar happening to them.
The In campaign's whole strategy seems to be, 'ooh, it's terrible, hang on for nurse for fear of something worse'.
Lashing out on live TV, Duncan Smith said: "The In campaign's whole strategy seems to be, 'Ooh, it's terrible, hang on to nurse for fear of something worse'.
Just because HS2 is currently the only scheme on the table doesn't mean we should settle for that for fear of something worse.
I feel quite physically sick every time she runs now for fear of something going wrong.
According to Davidson, California courts have ruled that ``you can only sue for fear of something happening in the future if it's more likely than not that that something will occur.
The lies worked and gloopbrained voters were frightened into sticking with the Tory nasty nurse for fear of something worse.
Despite its experience of growing unemployment, does the electorate vote Labour out of a tribal loyalty or does it follow the advice given to children in middle class Edwardian society, that they should hold on tightly to nurse for fear of something worse?