When plain old "fear" isn't enough to get across a deep feeling of dread about something on the horizon, use the more formal word trepidation.

"It was with a certain trepidation that I attended an advance screening of Rob Zombie's Halloween in Hollywood last night," wrote a film reviewer. Some dictionaries note that trepidation carries connotations of apprehension about an upcoming threat. In most cases, though, you can get by with the simpler word fear — why use three syllables when you could make do with one? The word comes from the Latin verb trepidare, "to tremble."

Definitions of trepidation

n a feeling of alarm or dread

Type of:
apprehension, apprehensiveness, dread
fearful expectation or anticipation

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