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

The first detailed international discussions of the options, starting in the mid-2020s, are fraught. The Economist, "Reaching for the sunshade: July 2030," 6 July 2019 Fan culture around comics is already fraught, and even moves that are baldly unpolitical — like casting black actors, or letting a woman be an action hero — have been met with resistance from some of Marvel’s hardcore fans. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Spider-Man: Far From Home turns a class-conscious hero into a tech bro," 3 July 2019 Especially with a blended family, Louise’s tightrope walk between her ex-husband and current husband is fraught at best and explosive at worst. Mary Slosson | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "‘Lifelines’ weaves a web of family drama and cultural nostalgia," 26 June 2019 Brishna’s history is fraught with risky choices and worse consequences. Washington Post, "In male-dominated Afghanistan, justice for women is complicated," 24 June 2019 Marzel lives just around the corner from Amro in the ancient, now fraught, Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, where Abraham the Patriarch is believed to have lived. Batya Ungar-sargon, The New York Review of Books, "A Palestinian in Israeli Military Court: Issa Amro, the Judge, & Me," 17 June 2019 The history of the club, like that of so many institutions in the Deep South/United States/world, is fraught with backwardness and bigotry. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Inside the Cultish Dreamworld of Augusta National," 14 June 2019 The connection is fraying, the conversations are fraught. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Mom takes stress out on child," 6 June 2019 Land issues in the DRC have historically been fraught, and everyone involved is determined that the community as a whole, rather than particular individuals, reap the program’s benefits. Eléonore Hellio, National Geographic, "See the Congolese artists igniting a modern arts movement," 8 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for fraught

Last Updated

7 Jul 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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