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

McMaster wasn’t Trump’s first choice, and their working relationship was at times fraught. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Jennifer Arangio, National Security Council official, joins the very long list of White House departures," 14 July 2018 That just goes to show you how dangerous and how serious and fraught the situation is. Fox News, "Trump eyes even higher tariffs as China trade war escalates," 7 July 2018 As things stand, this idea is based on 16 three-team groups, which is ugly and messy and fraught with complications and possibilities for collusion. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "How to stop World Cup teams from trying to lose in the group stage," 29 June 2018 Despite Carlton Palm’s long-troubled history, efforts to shut it down have been halting and fraught. Carol Marbin Miller And Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "After years of abuse and violence, 'house of horrors' for disabled might finally close | Miami Herald," 10 May 2018 Like all of you, my own journey has been crooked and fraught with challenges and complication. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Sometimes, advice-givers run out of answers," 26 Mar. 2018 Tech companies have been keen to ban ads related to cryptocurrencies, including initial coin offerings, primarily because the crypto industry is still new, unregulated and fraught with fraud. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Twitter will join Facebook and Google in banning cryptocurrency advertisements," 19 Mar. 2018 Using genetic profiling for identifying terrorists or other personality types will also be imprecise and fraught with errors. David Ewing Duncan, Newsweek, "Hacking Your DNA," 12 Mar. 2014 Most aren't as quick to admit that middle age can be an equally fraught time, considering health issues like menopause, divorce and family separation, and financial hardships. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 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

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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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