fraught

adjective
\ ˈfrȯt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Definition of fraught

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : full of or accompanied by something specified used with with a situation fraught with dangerThe paper was poorly researched and is fraught with errors.
2 : causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension : uneasy a fraught relationship

3 archaic

a : laden
b : well supplied or provided

fraught

noun
\ ˈfrȯḵt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Definition of fraught (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly Scotland
: load, cargo

fraught

verb
\ ˈfrȯḵt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \
fraughted or fraught; fraughting

Definition of fraught (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland

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Did You Know?

Verb

The drowmound was so hevy fraught / That unethe myght it saylen aught. That verse, from the 14th-century poem "Richard Coer de Lion," says that a large ship (a dromond) was so heavily loaded that it could barely sail. That's the first instance we have on record of the adjective "fraught." The word came to Middle English from the Middle Dutch or Middle Low German noun vracht, which meant "load" and which is also the source of the word freight. Middle English also possessed a noun "fraught" that meant "load" and a verb "fraughten" that meant "to load" (meanings still retained in Scottish English by "fraught," the verb and noun). For centuries, "fraught" continued to be used only of loaded ships, but its use was eventually broadened.

Examples of fraught in a Sentence

Adjective

every room in my childhood home is fraught with memories had a fraught meeting with his estranged wife to discuss a divorce settlement

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet, especially for international diners, these lunch breaks can be fraught with etiquette questions. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "An Etiquette Guide to Royal Ascot, Queen Elizabeth’s Favorite Event," 18 June 2018 But now—as President Trump’s aggressive trade tactics underscore—the old beggar-thy-neighbor path is fraught with geopolitical danger. Diana Choyleva, WSJ, "Why China’s New Year Wasn’t Very Festive," 13 Feb. 2019 Artistically interesting and challenging work is almost always the exception to the rule, and even the best TV shows are often runaway trains behind the scenes, fraught with creative compromises and production issues. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The 7 best TV shows of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 But even this approach can seem fraught with danger. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Overloaded Soldier: Why U.S. Infantry Now Carry More Weight Than Ever," 26 Dec. 2018 However, going from a theoretical framework to actual predictions is a process that is fraught; assumptions and approximations have to be made. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quark-gluon plasma reveals viscosity-free properties," 19 Dec. 2018 For many young people, the transition is a bumpy one, fraught with opportunities to make mistakes and bad choices. Jonathan Pokluda, Fox News, "'Welcome to Adulting' by Jonathan Pokluda," 20 Sep. 2018 To say the Petra and Aneska had a fraught relationship after that is an understatement, but no one could have predicted that Petra, in a flash of rage and fear, would murder Aneska, then lie about it to her new lover and lawyer, JR. Maria Tallarico, Glamour, "9 Jane the Virgin Fan Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night," 11 Jan. 2019 Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will meet in Helsinki next month, in a bid to improve fraught relations between their two countries. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump to Meet Putin in Helsinki for Summit Next Month," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fraught.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fraught

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fraught

Adjective

Middle English, from past participle of fraughten — see fraught entry 3

Noun

Middle English, freight, load, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German vracht, vrecht

Verb

Middle English fraughten, from fraught entry 2

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for fraught

The first known use of fraught was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fraught

fraught

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fraught

: causing or having a lot of emotional stress or worry

fraught

adjective
\ ˈfrȯt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Kids Definition of fraught

: full of some quality The situation is fraught with danger.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fraught

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fraught

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fraught

Spanish Central: Translation of fraught

Nglish: Translation of fraught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fraught for Arabic Speakers

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