\ 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

The lineup also includes takeovers from AC Slater's Night Bass, Above & Beyond's Anjunadeep label, and funky beat freaks Desert Hearts. Kat Bein, Billboard, "A-Trak, Gorgon City, The Blaze and More to Perform at Your Paradise Fiji 2019," 5 June 2019 The Penguins built a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal and a freak score, but the Checkers battled back with two goals in a six-minute span of the third period. Steve Lyttle, charlotteobserver, "Down 2-0 in third period, Checkers turn the tide against Penguins in playoffs opener | Charlotte Observer," 20 Apr. 2018 While Moore’s repeated smacking down should be comforting, the state of Alabama does not have a shortage of racist, homophobic Jesus freaks elected to public office. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Alabama’s Republican Nominee for Chief Justice Might Be the Only Judge More Racist Than Roy Moore," 8 June 2018 Mayo, a former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy who was paralyzed in a freak 2007 accident, hopes to complete the event with a little help from her friends. Kim Chatelain,, "Paralyzed former cop will do Crescent City Classic despite doctor's advice," 29 Mar. 2018 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

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

Who would have ever dreamed that television would one day be spoken of with such unadulterated reverence by Meryl freaking Streep? The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "‘I Like to Watch’ explores TV as, well, just great," 14 June 2019 Prepare for hair envy: Twitter took notice of Keery's epic do, with fans of both Harrington and the hair freaking out. Lynsey Eidell, Allure, "Twitter Reacts to Stranger Things' Joe Keery's Sky-High Hair at the 2018 Emmys Red Carpet," 17 Sep. 2018 Luckily, there are plenty of medications designed to help target asthma’s pathophysiology and stop your airways from freaking out. Korin Miller, SELF, "Hey, Biology Buffs, Here’s Exactly How Asthma Works in the Human Body," 20 July 2018 Why would an African American man in Sacramento, when approached by a cop because his car was idling, freak out and whip out his phone as the cop approached? Marcos Bretón, sacbee, "Governor Deukmejian – Nice guy with an awful legacy | The Sacramento Bee," 18 May 2018 Plus, unlike you, Cassie can’t freak out and overcompensate and end up on its butt. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Lab Making Robots Walk Through Fire and Ride Segways," 25 Apr. 2018 Hemsworth had referred to Miley as his wife at the ceremony, which had fans freaking out. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Liam Hemsworth Was Also in Awe of the Massive Wedding Ring He Gave Miley Cyrus," 7 Feb. 2019 Here’s why fans are freaking out that the answer could be yes. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is McGee Leaving 'NCIS?'," 15 Jan. 2019 Kelly Ripa posted a photo on Instagram yesterday that has her fans freaking out. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "People Are Freaking Out Over Kelly Ripa's 'Riverdale' References on Instagram," 24 July 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

16 Jun 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

 (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

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).


to take the place or position of

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