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 witha 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

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 Like many venues, the Cleveland Public Theatre is fraught with tight hallways and not a lot of entrances and exits. cleveland, "How live theater could change after the coronavirus shutdown," 30 Apr. 2020 Alaska has some truly incredible opportunities for the aspiring river hunter, but these trips are also fraught with challenges. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "A Raft Hunt for Caribou in the Alaskan Tundra," 27 Apr. 2020 This household arrangement is especially fraught in a pandemic, when every present body is another potential distributor, or recipient, of the virus. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Two Pandemics," 10 Apr. 2020 Although the application period opened up on April 3, the program is already fraught with misinformation and miscommunications as many banks say they weren't provided with guidance in time as to how the program actually works. Rachel King, Fortune, "Chefs and restauranteurs argue new SBA loans don’t protect the beleaguered restaurant industry," 6 Apr. 2020 People's waking lives are fraught – fear, uncertainty and helplessness pervade the day. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "The coronavirus pandemic may be influencing our dreams," 5 Apr. 2020 That path is even more fraught for a president elected, in part, for his populist disdain for experts, a skepticism for multilateral projects, and a direct, unfiltered style of communication. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump zigs and zags as he tries to balance coronavirus demands," 12 Mar. 2020 The use of prison labor is fraught with ethical problems, like low wages and forced exploitation. Hope Corrigan, Quartz, "Incarcerated people tasked to make hand sanitizer to fight coronavirus are banned from using it themselves," 10 Mar. 2020 For Democrats, the future is fraught as the race builds towards a showdown between former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, which will then give way to a messy battle between the eventual nominee and President Donald Trump. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Women ‘Weep’ and Rally, As Dream of Woman President Slips Away, Again," 6 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fraught

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fraught. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for fraught

fraught

adjective
How to pronounce fraught (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fraught

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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