\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those dreams and plans, however, were cut short when Ford drowned in Cullman County over the weekend in what is being described as a freak accident. Carol Robinson |, al, "Kam Ford’s drowning leaves mom broken but thankful for their time together," 7 May 2020 His passing, while sudden, wasn’t related to COVID-19 or any freak accident. Beth Spotswood,, "Zoom funerals provide genuine setting for grief during pandemic," 6 May 2020 The former American League Rookie of the Year has not played more than 110 games since 2016 — beset by a bevy of freak injuries and, more recently, back problems. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "GM Jeff Luhnow tells Carlos Correa to enjoy honeymoon, reassures 'he's an Astro'," 11 Dec. 2019 On June 25, Connecticut Sun point guard Layshia Clarendon underwent ankle surgery after a freak injury in practice. Alexa Philippou,, "Connecticut Sun: After what was expected to be a season-ending injury, Layshia Clarendon is practicing and ‘day to day’ ahead of WNBA Finals," 26 Sep. 2019 Injuries to both of his legs had prevented Gibson from starting the game — injuries caused not by some freak accident, but by the demands of his profession. Dan Barry, New York Times, "Baseball Season Opens With a Dash of Imagination," 26 Mar. 2020 On Sunday, Hamilton revealed the camel had been cleared of all wrongdoing after the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office finished investigating the freak incident. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Woman bites camel that sat on her at Louisiana truck stop zoo," 23 Sep. 2019 So far, the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. has not tripped Lamirande’s freak-out meter. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus can be avoided by working from home. But what if your job puts you in front of people?," 5 Mar. 2020 The apparent freak accident claimed Afra, 63, and her passenger, 75-year-old Viviane Brahms, of Harrison, N.Y. Hours later, police divers found the car upside down 52 feet below the surface. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "After fatal plunge from Florida ferry, women found embracing in back of sunken car," 20 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And the sport’s been very fortunate to not have anything freak or weird happen for many, many years. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "Joe Gibbs apologizes for team's Daytona celebration: 'We really didn't know' how serious Ryan Newman crash was," 18 Feb. 2020 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 AMC Theatres—the largest movie theater chain in the world with 11,000 screens and an indispensable asset for Hollywood studios—promptly freaked out about Shell’s boasting. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The spat over “Trolls World Tour” foreshadows inevitable shifts in film distribution," 29 Apr. 2020 Leslie, now working for the U.S. Department of the Interior, first does a video chat with her husband, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), who may be a Congressman, but is freaking out over being at home and trying to teach the kids. oregonlive, "The ‘Parks and Recreation’ reunion special felt like a warm hug in an anxious time (review)," 1 May 2020 Ward freaked out and went to call for help, but paused before actually doing it. Jean Bentley,, "Outer Banks Season 1 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-10," 16 Apr. 2020 Elena will take a step back and just freak out and be a little bit more of a normal human. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Exclusive: "One Day at a Time" Stars Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz Open Up The Show's Big Return to TV After Cancellation," 25 Mar. 2020 Interest rates in the repo market briefly shot up way past the Fed's target, causing everyone to freak out, and the central bank to intervene. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, "The Fed's $1.5 trillion intervention, explained," 12 Mar. 2020 Peter is freaked and goes to lie down, and Chris drops by to tell him Hannah Ann is indeed coming after all. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'The Bachelor' finale recap: Peter proposes to one woman, endures uncomfortable family feud on live TV," 11 Mar. 2020 Part 7 of The Ranch ended on a major cliffhanger that left everyone freaking out. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Who Killed Nick on 'The Ranch'? Fans Had a Lot of Opinions Over the Shocking Reveal," 2 Feb. 2020 Deciding whether to remain calm or freak out about the new normal of thousand-point selloffs isn't easy. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Here's why you should worry about the turbulent stock market... and why you shouldn't," 11 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about freak

Time Traveler for freak

Time Traveler

The first known use of freak was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Statistics for freak

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Freak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!