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I am looking for a word to use in this context...

A teacher is scheduled to teach English 100. He has taught it before and knows it to be a grind. He believes that, like always, it will be populated by students who have built up a healthy disdain for English. So, he is sitting in his office minutes before the class begins feeling painful anticipation over his first lecture.

Psychology uses "Negative Anticipation" for these moments. I am hoping for a single word. The closest word I've found is "pang", but it sounds incomplete without "of something."

So, I would like a word that signifies the painful looking forward to an undesirable inevitability. This isn't a feeling of fear, just discomfort at knowing that what's to come will be arduous and tedious.

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Dread. This is a general reference question. –  MετάEd Nov 29 '12 at 12:06
@MετάEd: When someone dreads something, my first reaction is that they are afraid of it for some reason. I might ask them what there is to fear in the thing. I realize that this isn't always the case with dread, but I was hoping for a word that disambiguates between fear and displeasure. –  tylerharms Nov 29 '12 at 12:18
Dread is the right word. It has the two connotations of fear and displeasure. Context usually disambiguates for the listener. There are no one-word verbs that mean only "do not look forward to because the idea repels me", unless it's the passive use of repel: "I'm repelled by having to teach English 100 again next semester". –  user21497 Nov 29 '12 at 12:59
While "dread" is the low-hanging fruit, one word does not a rich language make! Let's flex a little linguistic muscle here! –  Kristina Lopez Nov 29 '12 at 15:10
@BillFranke: I agree that dread works if context is clear. Best option, so far. Ugly word, though, dread. –  tylerharms Nov 29 '12 at 21:08
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closed as general reference by Roaring Fish, MετάEd, JSBձոգչ, tchrist, Mitch Nov 30 '12 at 18:37

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

There are many words that tap into that feeling to a certain degree (though they all share the basic emotion of dread at some level)

  • Foreboding (my favorite!)
  • Trepidation
  • Apprehension
  • Consternation
  • Unease
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Consternation seems best here, & it's a verb, so one can say "Having to teach English 100 next semester consternates me". Howsomever, it's ambiguous: "to fill with dismay or astonishment" (MW3UDE), which leaves us between the same Scylla & Charybdis. The other choices don't remove the fear, & "unease" doesn't express the displeasure. Maybe "Having to teach English 100 next semester {repels / annoys / displeases (and all its synonyms)} me" is okay. –  user21497 Nov 29 '12 at 21:52
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