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

But at this fraught political moment for Big Tech, buying an asset like Discord could put the owner’s brand in jeopardy. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Black Friday is the busiest time of year for professional line sitters," 21 Nov. 2018 But Friday’s interment comes at a fraught moment for the LGBTQ community in America. Juliet Linderman, The Seattle Times, "Matthew Shepard, symbol for gay rights, laid to rest in DC," 26 Oct. 2018 The children of the rich and famous – at least one future billionaire among them – were spending their spare time dabbling with orgonites, which just happen to have a slightly more fraught history than, say, fidget spinners or terrariums. refinery29.com, "Kylie Jenner, Crystals & Cults: Inside The Mysterious Orgonite Society," 13 July 2018 Leigh writes, pointing, in particular, to Match’s patent infringement lawsuit against rival Bumble and the two firms’ fraught history. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "SCOTUS Abortion, Women World Cup, Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg: Broadsheet June 25," 27 June 2018 Their fraught family history inspired William Nguyen to study Vietnam at Yale University and to visit the country numerous times. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "‘No sense of urgency’: State Dept. slow to help American beaten and held in Vietnam, family says," 18 June 2018 This fraught history and current real estate market trends ushered in a marked difference in the types (and color) of restaurant ownership, cuisine, and clientele in the Fillmore. Shakirah Simley, Bon Appetit, "The Harlem of the West: What’s to Become of The Fillmore?," 6 June 2018 The recent scientific advancements are especially notable, given China's fraught history. Author: Ben Guarino, Emily Rauhala, William Wan, Anchorage Daily News, "China challenges American dominance of science," 4 June 2018 Upon entering the museum, visitors are immediately confronted by the fraught history of this location. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Five Things to See at Alabama’s New Memorial to Lynching Victims," 25 Apr. 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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Statistics for fraught

Last Updated

28 Apr 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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