\ ˈfrēk \

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

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Examples of freak in a Sentence


eccentric, artistic types whom many regarded as freaks I had a terrible rash on my face, and I felt like a freak.


He was the victim of a freak accident. even weather forecasters seemed surprised by the freak hailstorm
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In what could only be described as a freak accident, authorities say Michael's powerful winds lifted the portable structure high into the air and slammed it back down on the house. Kate Brumback, Fox News, "Georgia girl, 11, dies as Michael hurls debris through roof," 12 Oct. 2018 Freshman Height: 6-4 • Weight: 198 Smith is a freak athlete without much more that teams can bank on. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "2018 NBA mock draft 3.0: Michael Porter Jr. vaults up board; Cavs nab Trae Young," 15 June 2018 This time, the freak-rebounding freshman forward sprained his left ankle. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky basketball could be 'playing each game for' Jarred Vanderbilt and not with him," 9 Mar. 2018 In 2017, Matt was injured in a freak accident in Browntown when an explosion occurred just hours after the Alaskan Bush People crew left for the day. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘Alaskan Bush People' Cast: How Well Do You Know the Brown Family?," 23 Sep. 2018 Over the winter, Nimbus broke his leg in a freak accident when it somehow got caught under a door. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "6 Things You Should to Know Before Getting a Pet Llama or Alpaca," 23 July 2018 That’s an Odd Couple reference, for those who aren’t fans of classic comedy and/or old Jack Klugman TV shows, suggesting that either Rash or Moynihan is going to be a neat freak, while the other will be a slob. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "Cantina Talk: No, Kathleen Kennedy Isn't Leaving Lucasfilm," 18 June 2018 Silence your internal neat freak A well-kempt garden is the toad’s worst enemy. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways To Attract Toads To Your Garden (And Why You’d Totally Want To)," 16 May 2017 This family friendly nostalgic musical comedy is about a small, independent Midwest radio station in 1941 that is all set to finally ‘go national’ with a live show when a sudden freak snowstorm occurs. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix in July: Splash pad parties, shark feeds and free fun," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

People didn’t behave in the rational ways economists had assumed and supposedly freak events appeared with alarming frequency. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "A New Way to Spot the Next Financial Crisis," 18 Dec. 2018 If not for setbacks caused by a pair of freak accidents and an oblique strain last season, Dozier might have logged enough at-bats at Class AAA Omaha to contend for a 25-man roster spot this spring. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Which prospects might be part of the Royals future and who might get left behind | The Kansas City Star," 21 Mar. 2018 But in 2016 a freak storm disconnected it, leading to a statewide blackout. The Economist, "The power and the furoreA state election stirs a row about renewable energy in Australia," 8 Mar. 2018 Vea is an ideal match lining up next to Geno Atkins as a 346-pound freak athlete run-stopper. Paul Dehner Jr.,, "Bengals mock draft: What does Cincinnati want to see happen in April?," 5 Mar. 2018 Commiserate about freak weather patterns with Dorothy at the Vista Theater this weekend during a special screening of The Wizard of Oz. Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine, "The 5 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Weekend," 1 Mar. 2018 Freak ballpark accidents involving birds have happened in the past. Linda Wang, The Seattle Times, "Gulls: Winningest team in San Francisco Bay Area baseball," 24 Aug. 2017 Freak events have occurred in which occupants did everything right with regard to placing themselves in the best possible place in the basement of their house, and yet they were killed. Tom Skilling,, "Ask Tom: In a tornado, where in the basement is safe?," 12 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Of course, her Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World co-stars are currently freaking out over the big news! Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, ""Girl Meets World" Star Danielle Fishel is Pregnant and Her Co-Stars Are Freaking Out!," 3 Jan. 2019 Fixer Upper fans are freaking out, and for good reason: Chip and Joanna Gaines are returning to—nay, taking over—TV! Megan Stein, Country Living, "Discovery Just Released More Details About Chip and Joanna Gaines' New TV Network," 10 Nov. 2018 Last fall when Solange went blonde, fans understandably freaked out. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "15 Celebrities Who Prove a Dye Job Makes a Huge Difference," 18 Oct. 2018 In other words, this $8 can of goodness is really, really, really freaking excellent. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Here's the Proof Batiste Dry Shampoo Is the Best Out There," 24 Aug. 2018 Glover is actually really freaking busy, cranking out enough work to sustain three careers, and achieving excellence in all of them. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Donald Glover Wrote a Whole Damn Deadpool Script Just to Prove He's Not Too Busy," 28 Mar. 2018 Related stories from Sacramento Bee Alexa’s random laughter is freaking people out. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Alexa, stop laughing. Amazon says her creepy, random laughter has been fixed," 8 Mar. 2018 Cool wallet Fishing finatics will freak over this shearling wallet lined with faux lures. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "24 Out-of-the-Box Birthday Gifts Your Boyfriend Will Love," 4 June 2018 And the creamy coleslaw will freak out mayo-phobes. Michael Russell | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Cheap Eats 2018: Portland's 15 best inexpensive restaurants," 3 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for freak

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for freak

The first known use of freak was in 1563

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More Definitions for freak



English Language Learners Definition of freak

: not natural, normal, or likely


\ ˈfrēk \

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on freak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with freak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freak

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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