\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

One needed to be big enough to hold all that black womanhood was supposed to be; lover, cook, therapist, mama, freak, co-conspirator, messiah, savior, martyr, while never getting too big. Sonya Renee Taylor, SELF, "The House Next Door," 26 June 2018 Connecticut’s favorite jam-band proudly waves the freak flag, as shown on this 18-minute cover of a Grateful Dead classic, recorded for Telefunken Elektroakustik in South Windsor. Michael Hamad,, "The Big E Posted Its 2018 Music Lineup, And It's Pretty Good," 15 June 2018 As Brian Hiatt wrote in his March profile of White for Rolling Stone magazine, this is the album where control-freak-Jack White loosened up the reins a bit. Doug Maccash,, "When is New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2019?," 7 May 2018 To win an Aquarian's trust, don't try to reign in their quirks or keep them from flying their freak flag high — Aquarius thrives on shock value. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Personality of an Aquarius, Explained," 2 Feb. 2018 This weekend is jam-packed with festivals—beer freaks, winos, music lovers and craft geeks will all have something to do. Shelbie Lynn Bostedt, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago festivals this weekend: Windy City Wine Festival, Oktoberfest, Renegade Craft Fair," 8 Sep. 2017 Both shows were co-created by Robert and Michelle King, married showrunners who have learned, during their years of making network television, to camouflage their freak flag as a pocket square. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "The Incendiary Verve of “The Good Fight”," 4 June 2017 Trout is the best individual asset baseball has—for years its undisputed best player, a physical freak who slugs like Aaron Judge and runs like Dee Gordon, and a role model who signs autographs for kids before every game and is perpetually upbeat. Tom Verducci,, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 The life of a family farmer is never easy: Financial insecurity is the norm, smaller farms have to compete with deep-pocketed agribusiness giants, and months of toil can be wiped away by a crop blight or a freak weather event. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, "Ralph Paige, Champion of Black Farmers, Dies at 74," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

The days following the holiday are some of the busiest of the year because the loud bangs can freak animals out, said Executive Director Ann Graves. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Fireworks, banned in many Puget Sound cities, still create ‘adrenaline rush”," 3 July 2018 While the political elite freaks out about their peers’ access to chanterelle-and-garlic-scape risotto, the restaurant community is coming together to protect the undocumented immigrant members of their family. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "Blacklist Every Last One of Them," 26 June 2018 My muscles freak out trying to make sense of their lack of sensory input. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 Vivek and his freaking love for Blue blood program players. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Why some Kings fans welcome Bagley 'to the family' as others say team will regret pick," 21 June 2018 Here's what an old graphic used to look like: Specifically designed for those behind-the-scenes moments when the designers aren't around, but the neighbors are freaking out. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "5 "Trading Spaces" Premiere Moments You Definitely Missed," 8 Apr. 2018 But serious infections are uncommon, and not everyone has cause to freak out, experts say. Amanda Macmillan,, "Vibrio Vulnificus: What to Know About The 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria' That Has a New Jersey Man Fighting For His Life," 10 July 2018 Rihanna announced Fenty's Beauty's forthcoming Moroccan Spice Collection yesterday on Instagram and the world proceeded to, justifiably, freak out. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Fenty Beauty Launches Flyliner, Its First Liquid Eyeliner, as Part of Moroccan Spice Collection," 26 June 2018 If there’s a bunch of intense hazardous material trucks Wednesday on the Kennesaw State University campus, don’t freak out. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Kennesaw State is running a gas leak drill on campus, so don’t panic," 16 May 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


origin unknown


see freak entry 1

Verb (1)

see freak entry 1

Verb (2)

perhaps from or akin to freckle entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near freak








Phrases Related to freak

freak of fate

neat freak

Statistics for freak

Last Updated

6 Oct 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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Comments on freak

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