Can anyone help me out here? It's been nagging me all afternoon, scrounging around in my head for it and plumbing the Web--I swear I've heard a more literary alternative for this one before.

I'm looking for a synonym or different expression for "for fear that".

Something like "God forbid" comes to mind, but that's not quite it: too idiomatic. Though it has a completely different meaning, "by dint of" keeps presenting itself I think because the one that's eluding me is also a prepositional phrase, maybe three words.

2 Answers 2



for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

worried lest she should be late

hesitant to speak out lest he be fired


It would be nice for the question to have an exact sentence as there is a difference between doing something FOR the purpose of avoiding trouble vs doing something with reservations that it might go wrong?

Might go wrong but doing it anyway:

  • with trepidation

Did something a bit differently to reduce risk

  • due to uncertainty

  • out of saftey concerns

  • at the risk of rain delay, we had contigency plans

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