fraught

adjective
\ˈfrȯt \

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 \

Definition of fraught (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly Scotland

: load, cargo

fraught

verb
\ˈfrȯḵt \
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 interview, published during a gala dinner May hosted for Trump at Blenheim Palace, appeared to further ratchet up tensions in a relationship that’s been fraught since the president assumed office. Fortune, "Trump Apologizes to May and Vows U.K. Trade Deal After Brexit," 13 July 2018 The issue of sanctuary for undocumented immigrants has been politically fraught in Virginia. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, "As politics of immigration heat up, Virginia churches join growing sanctuary movement," 5 July 2018 The relationship between the U.S.’s largest theater chain and the start-up ticket subscription program has been fraught since the early days. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "AMC's New Ticket Subscription Plan Might Convince You To Abandon MoviePass," 22 June 2018 His comments could weaken Republicans' already uphill drive to pass legislation on an issue that's become politically fraught amid heart-rending images of migrant families being separated at the border. Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "Trump tweet complicates House GOP efforts to pass immigration legislation," 21 June 2018 The funding has been approved, and city leaders are under pressure to swiftly address the squalor and misery on the streets, but the question of where to build remains politically fraught. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: Fury by the border," 19 June 2018 The atmosphere in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium in the early hours of Sunday morning was fraught. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Real Madrid Ushered Into Sudden Chaos After Zidane's Resignation," 31 May 2018 But another, less politically fraught reason is that blurring fiction and nonfiction well can push the audience in ways that one or the other might not accomplish alone. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Movies are blurring fact and fiction on purpose. What does that do to the audience?," 30 May 2018 Supreme is a $1 billion capitalist beast, and Kanye is politically fraught in so many ways. Samuel Hine, GQ, "How “Come Tees” Went From Kanye Co-Sign to Fashion Cult Craze," 30 May 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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Phrases Related to fraught

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of fraught

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

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