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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Fancy joining the scares at Lightwater Valley's Halloween Scare Fest?
SCARE FACTOR: You won't have anyone to recap with after ...
This is all fine when you are watching TV or on the internet and you are subject to scare tactics.
The Israeli Consulate in Boston was evacuated Monday and five others in the world were on alert after Anthrax white powder scares. A powder-like substance in an envelope marked "Anthrax" was found in the Consulate offices in the Boston Park Plaza hotel mid-day Monday.
Emma Lloyd, Sefton Arts Programme and Marketing Manager, says: "We hope that Scare Fest 2 encourages children of all ages to get involved with reading and to see how much fun they can have in doing so."
"About one-third of the population actively seeks a good scare, another third avoids it, and the remainder says it depends," Sparks concludes.
They say that's a scare tactic, compared with 43 percent who say default is a real danger.
Now, if that scare occurs in a place and in a fashion that is foreign to the buck, he will not be so forgiving.
"Scare a Bear" is a rollicking, rhyming fanciful tale that deals (hypothetically) with the thorny question "Do you know how to scare a bear?" Through colorful , comical, whimsical illustrations, follow the mad escapades of a camp full of bear-loving and--scaring kids who face their furry visitor in numerous humorous settings and situations, all of which center on dealing with a visiting bear (who won't be scared).