\ 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

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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

During a winter home swap in Lake Tahoe, Calif., the Elia family went two days without power during a freak snowstorm. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The Secret to Scoring a Vacation Home That’s (Practically) Free," 11 Jan. 2019 Victoria’s Secret’s interpretation of that moment has nothing to do with freaks of any kind. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show sells a fantasy of empowerment. I sorta believed it.," 3 Dec. 2018 For a year, everyone is furious at that seven-foot freak for basically getting Trump elected. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Trevor Noah tears apart Peter Strzok's opportunistic GoFundMe campaign," 17 Aug. 2018 Take a brief step back in time to the late ’80s, back when Madonna had just entered her first fitness-freak phase. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Madonna’s Epic Workout Style Deserves a Round of Applause," 16 Aug. 2018 Its tool box remains largely the same: riffs that sound like a muffler being dragged down the highway, speed-freak guitar solos, tempos that go from fast to faster and Araya’s wraithlike vocals. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "One more storm of blood from Slayer, on the metals band’s final tour," 13 June 2018 The park is obviously designed with children in mind, but even speed-freak adults will appreciate the rides and the attention to detail. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Best Day Trips from Dubai," 4 Mar. 2018 Only then will people truly feel safe to let their freak scooter flags fly. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Electric scooters are inspiring lazy people to get creative," 21 Oct. 2018 Aquarius January 20 - February 18 Aquariuses, let your freak flag fly. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About How You Should Prep for The 2018 Midterms," 11 Oct. 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

Microsoft has flirted with pop-up ads before, and consumers freaked out. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft will ship the Windows 10 May 2019 Update in late May, giving you power over updates," 4 Apr. 2019 The movie, however, will apparently see cat-sized Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Dame Judi freaking Dench running around and dancing and singing. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Here’s Why People Are Freaking Out About the Cats Movie," 3 Apr. 2019 Guardiola and Klopp agreed that a four-point cushion was ample enough to keep anyone from freaking out yet—especially since these two clubs won’t meet again in league play this season. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Manchester City Is Back in the Premier League Race," 3 Jan. 2019 The 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival lineup was released earlier this week, and people are — understandably — freaking out about it. Sarah Grace Hart, Teen Vogue, ""13 Reasons Why" Star Dylan Minnette's Band Is Playing Coachella 2019," 4 Jan. 2019 Her joke about Elon Musk needing to invent himself a girlfriend of the same age feels off, given that this morning my Twitter feed is full of people freaking out about Elon Musk’s latest comments on the press., "The Break With Michelle Wolf," 27 May 2018 After giving Blue Jays fans enough time to totally freak out about the idea of Vlad Jr.’s debut, the phenom took down the Instagram post. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Top MLB prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. sparks frenzy with a JFK Airport-tagged Instagram post," 14 May 2018 But don’t freak out just yet: Your body begins to regenerate any damaged cells, preventing any permanent loss. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit, "A Trick That Keeps Pineapple From Burning Your Mouth When You Eat a Ton," 7 Mar. 2018 There’s never anyone freaking out about missing shots. ... Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW guard Brevin Pritzl recovers from forgettable performances," 10 Feb. 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

24 Mar 2019

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 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

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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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