\ 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 outthe 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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Government officials felt confident that pretty much all of the U.S.’s important computer systems had been upgraded, but out in the wider world the freak-out was on. oregonlive, "‘Y2K bug’ threatened to bring chaos 20 years ago, causing ‘freaked out’ Oregonians to prepare for the worst," 23 Dec. 2019 Free jazz, tribal freak-outs, medieval music, psychedelic mind-melts, beatnik poetry and folky touches all blended together in the haunting vision of stellar implosion and rebirth. John Adamian,, "Dark Star Orchestra, playing the music of the Dead, at College Street," 18 Nov. 2019 The move, which Moody’s foreshadowed by lowering its outlook on South Africa’s rating to negative from stable, triggered a freak-out in the financial community—at least that’s how local media told the story. Brian Browdie, Quartz Africa, "South Africa lives with the existential threat of a ratings downgrade," 7 Nov. 2019 His freak-out likely spans generations (worrying about both his children and his parents). Amy Dickinson,, "Ask Amy: New mom can treat irritation with teamwork," 6 Oct. 2019 Add to that the uncertainties brought on by the trade war with China and evidence of economic slowdowns in other countries, and this Wall Street freak-out becomes more understandable. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for August 15: Jeffrey Epstein, economy, New York child sex lawsuits," 15 Aug. 2019 They were first spotted out together at the members' club DUMBO House (a Soho House location) in Brooklyn on August 4, sending Bachelor Nation into a freak-out. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid and Tyler Cameron Hang Out in NYC Again," 14 Aug. 2019 This glitched-out, glittering groove moves between a repetitive sample hook and intoxicatingly-fizzy freak outs. Katie Bain, Billboard, "First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Yotto, ATLiens, Jubilee & More," 26 July 2019 But don't fall into the trap of thinking these are merely physical freaks thriving due to sub-4.5 40 speed and eight-pack abs. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "More than muscle: Rookie receivers DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown succeeding for reasons far beyond physiques," 9 Jan. 2020 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 If a new virus was killing two young North Texans every week, people would be completely freaked out and demanding a cure. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "North Texas parents, we have to confront teen suicide because ‘right now it’s winning’," 7 Feb. 2020 So instead of freaking out, take some time to assess your exact situation. Dan Seitz, Popular Science, "How to find drinkable water in the wild," 5 Feb. 2020 My clients were freaking out,’’ said Andres Castañeda, an agent with the Fermin Group in North Andover. Real Estate, "How disasters — manmade or natural — affect the real estate market," 5 Feb. 2020 There are so many opportunities for people to freak out. Aimee Groth, Quartz at Work, "Extinction Rebellion is using holacracy to scale its international movement," 29 Dec. 2019 Every time The Voice crowns a new champion, fans freak out over the results. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Carson Daly Had the Shadiest Reaction When Katie Kadan Didn't Win 'The Voice'," 21 Dec. 2019 So procrastinate, procrastinate and then freak out. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mysterious character takes lead role in Bybee’s ‘Say It Again’," 22 Sep. 2019 That’s not even close to your reality? Don’t freak out! oregonlive, "Don’t panic! We’ve got every Thanksgiving recipe you need for the big meal," 25 Nov. 2019 So don’t freak out when things go a little sideways. Al Saracevic,, "Seahawks vs. 49ers: Five things we learned," 12 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for freak

Time Traveler

The first known use of freak was in 1563

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Statistics for freak

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Freak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for freak


How to pronounce freak (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on freak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with freak

Spanish Central: Translation of freak

Nglish: Translation of freak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freak for Arabic Speakers

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