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Emotional and physiologic response to recognized sources of danger.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In psychology, a negative emotion toward a real or imagined danger that threatens an individual’s life, personality, or values, including ideals, goals, and principles.

(2) One of the main tenets of existentialism introduced by S. Kierkegaard, who distinguished between a common, empirical fear (in German, Furcht) brought about by a concrete object or condition and an indefinite and uncontrollable dread (in German, Angst). Dread is a metaphysical fear unknown to animals. Its object is nothing, and it results from man being mortal and knowing it. For M. Heidegger dread functions to disclose the final potential of existence—death. J.-P. Sartre defines metaphysical, existential fear (angoisse) as anxiety before one’s own self, potential, and freedom.

(3) Early psychoanalysis distinguished between a rational fear in the face of external danger and a deep, irrational fear. The latter was interpreted to be a result of unrealized ambitions and a repression of unsatisfied desires. Modern neo-Freudianism interprets fear in terms of anxiety, which is a state of general irrationality associated with the irrational nature of bourgeois society. It is also considered to be the main source of neuroses.

Many theories on the origin of religion regard the emotion of fear to be a reason for the development of religious ideas and beliefs. This trend of thought was developed by Lucretius and Democritus in antiquity and D. Hume, P. Holbach, and L. Feuerbach in modern times.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about your fears?

Fearful dreams are quite common, reflecting either anxiety about concrete problems in the world or anxieties arising from inner tensions. For a deeper understanding, the dreamer should attempt to identify the source of fear in the dream.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


If you are experiencing great fear in your dreams, you are having nightmares. These types of dreams are positive because your unconscious mind is trying to tell you something. If you have repressed issues, they may be coming to the surface. Think about the fear in your dreams and try to be honest with yourself. Face your fears and as a great American president once said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Having fearful dreams seems to be relatively common. Most dreams are unpleasant and that is the nature of our private unconscious. Issues and concerns, repressed emotions, and daily stress all contribute to an uneasy sleep and to fear-filled dreams.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
its own hatred and the "extreme frightfulness of [its]
My description of the scene at [Jagbel] does not; [sic] I fear, convey a true idea of the hideousness of the crime; its frightfulness and barbarity could not be exceeded.
running around the garden ..." -- or reminisce about their concern over".., our boys in Stalingrad ..." "To this day," writes Sebald, "any concern with the real scenes of horror during the catastrophe still has the aura of the forbidden about it, even of voyeurism ..." While Sebald never backs away from the frightfulness of the events themselves, he is pitiless when it comes to the matter of the collective incoherence and silence about the subject in his birthplace.
As for German painting, let alone sculpture, it is doubtful whether the British even now have wholly overcome cultural prejudices which clearly reflect the propaganda of both wars against German 'frightfulness'.
As a result of the enormous fuss made about it by the teachers -- all of whom had, of course, passed "Hall" before being allowed to go into a training college, and therefore possessed stocks of wildly exaggerated stories to tell about its frightfulness - "Hall" struck sheer fear into the soul of every senior school pupil.
In light of this, the war reporter argued that "every word and act of [Americans] now that helps the Allies is a blow against frightfulness, against despotism, and in behalf of a broader civilization, a nobler freedom, and a much more pleasant world in which to live." (52)
The fact that they are increasingly referred to as 'events' underlines their frightfulness. The attacks were evil, a premeditated evil meticulously planned and executed in cold blood.
There is a common assumption that at some point, under some circumstance, perhaps after the parties have exhausted themselves in frightfulness to each other, they will come back to the table and pick up where they left off.
The War Cabinet concluded that "these forms of frightfulness" should play no role in the war effort.
The torpedoing of merchant ships and loss of noncombatant lives, including those of Americans, demonstrated German frightfulness, but not hostility, directed at them.
Of course, since it's a truism to say that terrorists in general thrive on the oxygen of publicity, it's a fair bet to assume that the next attack will be even more horrendous and will seek to set a new standard of frightfulness.