1 fear, be afraid of, apprehend, anticipate, flinch, shrink or recoil from, cringe or quail or blench or wince at, view with horror or alarm:
She dreads any kind of surgery.
2 fear, fright, fearfulness, trepidation, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, anticipation, alarm, nervousness, qualm, queasiness, misgiving, dismay, worry, anxiety, consternation, concern, distress, perturbation, disquiet, aversion, horror, terror, panic, Colloq cold feet, butterflies (in the stomach), the jitters; Slang the heebie-jeebies, the willies, the collywobbles:
I regarded the history exam with dread.
3 feared, dreaded, dreadful, terrifying, terrible:
Before us, breathing fire, was the dread dragon of the Druids.