\ ˈfrēk How to pronounce freak (audio) \

Definition of freak

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a sudden and odd or seemingly pointless idea or turn of the mind you should be able to stop and go on, and follow this way or that, as the freak takes you— R. L. Stevenson
b : a seemingly capricious action or event Through an incredible freak of fate they survived the shipwreck.
2 archaic : a whimsical quality or disposition
3 : one that is markedly unusual or abnormal: such as
a : a person or animal having a physical oddity and appearing in a circus sideshow
b slang
(1) : a sexual deviate
(2) : a person who uses an illicit drug a speed freak
c : hippie
d : an atypical postage stamp usually caused by a unique defect in paper (such as a crease) or a unique event in the manufacturing process (such as a speck of dirt on the plate) that does not produce a constant or systematic effect
4a : an ardent enthusiast film freaks
b : a person who is obsessed with something a control freak



Definition of freak (Entry 2 of 4)

: having the character of a freak a freak accident


verb (1)
freaked; freaking; freaks

Definition of freak (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make greatly distressed, astonished, or discomposed often used with out the news freaked them out
2 : to put under the influence of a psychedelic drug often used with out

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from reality especially by taking drugs often used with out
2 : to experience nightmarish hallucinations as a result of taking drugs often used with out
3a : to behave irrationally or unconventionally under the influence of drugs often used with out
b : to react with extreme or irrational distress or discomposure often used with out


verb (2)
freaked; freaking; freaks

Definition of freak (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to streak especially with color silver and mother-of-pearl freaking the intense azure— Robert Bridges †1930

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of freak in a Sentence

Noun eccentric, artistic types whom many regarded as freaks I had a terrible rash on my face, and I felt like a freak. Adjective He was the victim of a freak accident. even weather forecasters seemed surprised by the freak hailstorm
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Indianapolis Colts took receiver -- and physical freak -- Michael Strachan with the 229th pick of the NFL Draft on Saturday. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "4 things to know about Colts receiver, and physical freak, Michael Strachan," 1 May 2021 Michigan’s Kwity Paye is another freak athlete with an underdeveloped game. Jonas Shaffer,, "Six NFL draft questions that could shape the Ravens’ first round," 29 Apr. 2021 But the effects of natural disasters and other freak accidents further up the supply chain have also cascaded down to laboratory benches. Kate Sheridan, STAT, "How blackouts, fires, and a pandemic are driving shortages of pipette tips — and hobbling science," 28 Apr. 2021 John Levinski, a 74-year-old resident of Hillsborough, was identified as the victim in the freak accident over the weekend,, the Associated Press and the Somerset Daily Voice reported. Joelle Goldstein,, "N.J. Man Dies After Lawn Mower Falls on Top of Him: Reports," 20 Apr. 2021 Dasan McCullough, the freak athlete, turned into Dasan McCullough, the media member, on Sunday. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s 2022 recruiting class members converge at Under Armour All-American Camp: Buckeyes Recruiting," 12 Apr. 2021 Swain said the 2021 fire season is unlikely to surpass the severity of 2020, given the particularly unlucky combination of factors — little rain, a freak August lightning storm and unrelenting autumn winds — that made last year so bad. J.d. Morris, San Francisco Chronicle, "California braces for extreme 2021 wildfire season - it's very dry out there," 11 Apr. 2021 All-American, Cook suffered a freak knee injury in his final college regular-season game. Mark Inabinett |, al, "From Riley Smith to Anfernee Jennings: Alabama’s NFL Draft picks," 14 Apr. 2021 One couple seldom entertains, as the husband is a clean freak who does not want his home dirtied. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Part of our friend group only takes, never gives," 31 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Taiwan's last serious train crash, in 2018, was found to have been caused by driver's negligence, but initial impressions were that Friday's collision was more like a freak accident. Amy Qin, Star Tribune, "Taiwan crash investigators focus on how truck fell in train's path," 4 Apr. 2021 And, admittedly, reforms to winterize the state’s power systems could be costly and potentially wasteful given that this was what could be reasonably described as a freak weather occurrence. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Why Did Texas’s Energy Grid Fail So Spectacularly?," 17 Feb. 2021 Miller has recovered from a freak ankle injury that sidelined him all of last season. Barry Wilner, ajc, "Spend, spend, spend on 2nd day of "legal tampering" in NFL," 16 Mar. 2021 Some shows fly their freak flags by choosing length over accessibility—do anything for four hours, and casual viewers will definitely drop away—or by pushing their audience rather than drawing them in. Helen Shaw, Vulture, "In Weirdo Night, the Avant-Garde Fights Dirty," 5 Feb. 2021 Cubs third-base coach Don Zimmer suffers a concussion in a freak accident at Fitch Park, hitting his head on the floor after falling while leaning on the end of an anti-gravity exercise device in the workout room. Paul Sullivan,, "Cactus League report: Jed Hoyer says Cubs have no deadline for deals with impending free agents — and Yoan Moncada is eager to show off his speed for the White Sox," 4 Mar. 2021 Texas just experienced a freak deep freeze that left 4.4 million people without power. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Case for a Permanent Stimulus," 25 Feb. 2021 In other words, take a page from Ms. Shayk and let that winter freak-chic flag style fly. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Irina Shayk Is Making Me Fall in Love With Bold Winter Prints," 23 Feb. 2021 There was, of course, the off chance that this override of his aircraft was due to some freak malfunction in the F-35. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, "2034, Part I: Peril in the South China Sea," 26 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Do not freak out, go ballistic or start threatening violence against the abuser. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "Breaking the silence: How to talk to your kids about sexual assault, consent," 4 Mar. 2021 The second most common concern is taper tantrums, which occur when markets freak out over surging bond yields. Matt Egan, CNN, "Wall Street's biggest fear isn't Covid. It's inflation," 16 Mar. 2021 Nany and Kaycee finish the second checkpoint while Amber B. still can't get her first and starts to completely freak out. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Double Agents recap: The final elimination results in season-ending injury," 8 Apr. 2021 Since the beginning of popular music, rock stars have often invoked Satan as a surefire way to scandalize parents and freak out the squares. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, "Nike Wants to Clarify it Doesn’t Endorse Lil Nas X’s Satan Shoes, the Shoes That Contain Human Blood," 1 Apr. 2021 Don’t ignore maintenance, but don’t freak out about exactly following manufacturer service schedules. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "Maintenance That Will Prep Your Bike for Spring," 29 Mar. 2021 McMurtry, perhaps the most competitive player on the team, began to freak out a bit. Chris Ballard, Los Angeles Times, "The SoCal night Gregg Popovich’s Hall of Fame career nearly died before it began," 25 Mar. 2021 As if the nine-foot locusts that run the universe, in a spasm of insect whimsy, had given us simultaneously a deadly, denormalizing virus and a new medium of human communication in which to freak out about it. James Parker, The Atlantic, "End Meeting for All," 19 Mar. 2021 Watching movie stars bicker, freak out, and talk to their tablets isn’t any more rewarding than doing it yourself. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "A Year of Watching Movies About Being Stuck at Home (While Being Stuck at Home)," 17 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of freak


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1887, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1964, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1637, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for freak

Noun, Adjective, and Verb (1)

origin unknown

Verb (2)

perhaps from or akin to freckle entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about freak

Statistics for freak

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Freak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for freak



English Language Learners Definition of freak

 (Entry 1 of 2)

disapproving : a very strange or unusual person
old-fashioned + sometimes offensive : a person or animal that is physically abnormal
informal : a person who is very interested or active in something specified



English Language Learners Definition of freak (Entry 2 of 2)

: not natural, normal, or likely


\ ˈfrēk How to pronounce freak (audio) \

Kids Definition of freak

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a strange, abnormal, or unusual person, thing, or event

Other Words from freak

freakish adjective
freaky adjective



Kids Definition of freak (Entry 2 of 3)

: not likely a freak accident


freaked; freaking

Kids Definition of freak (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to make (someone) upset usually used with out …the doctors told my parents that someday I'd need hearing aids. I don't know why this always freaked me out a bit…— R.J. Palacio, Wonder
2 : to become upset often used with out He just freaked out.

More from Merriam-Webster on freak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freak

Nglish: Translation of freak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freak for Arabic Speakers

Comments on freak

What made you want to look up freak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!