\ 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

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 Last February, during McWhorter’s first season, a freak accident left the pole vaulter with 18 stitches in his groin area after being stabbed by his vaulting pole. Norma Gonzalez, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 June 2021 Call it bad luck or a freak accident, but Jose Martinez’s run-in with an umpire will cost him the majority of the Mets’ upcoming season. Deesha Thosar,, 8 Mar. 2021 Eversource has defended its preparation for, and response to, the storm, which was the second biggest to hit Connecticut in recent years, exceeded in destruction by a freak snow storm in October 2011. Stephen Singer,, 15 Apr. 2021 The Indianapolis Colts took receiver -- and physical freak -- Michael Strachan with the 229th pick of the NFL Draft on Saturday. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 1 May 2021 Michigan’s Kwity Paye is another freak athlete with an underdeveloped game. Jonas Shaffer,, 29 Apr. 2021 But the effects of natural disasters and other freak accidents further up the supply chain have also cascaded down to laboratory benches. Kate Sheridan, STAT, 28 Apr. 2021 John Levinski, a 74-year-old resident of Hillsborough, was identified as the victim in the freak accident over the weekend,, the Associated Press and the Somerset Daily Voice reported. Joelle Goldstein,, 20 Apr. 2021 Dasan McCullough, the freak athlete, turned into Dasan McCullough, the media member, on Sunday. Stephen Means, cleveland, 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Two intense heat waves — one that nearly set a record for hottest temperature on Earth in Death Valley — set the stage, and a freak California lightning barrage provided lots of spark. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021 Two intense heat waves — one that nearly set a record for hottest temperature on Earth in Death Valley — set the stage, and a freak California lightning barrage provided lots of spark. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, 24 May 2021 Rhoads died in a freak plane accident on March 19th, 1982, at age 25 while the band was touring in support of its follow-up to Blizzard, Diary of a Madman. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 18 May 2021 More tarps over shredded sides of homes — all remnants of a freak inland hurricane that blew through in August 2020, tore down half the city’s trees and damaged 90 percent of its homes. Hannah Dreier, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2021 Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG may not be able make up for second quarter shortfalls in production arising from freak events at its key chip suppliers that exacerbated a global semiconductor shortage. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 23 Apr. 2021 On Monday night, just a few weeks after a freak deep freeze brought Texas to the brink of an electric-grid collapse, the surviving members of the Texas metal band Power Trip gathered at guitarist Nick Stewart’s house in Dallas. Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2021 But no one event — not a single explanation or a single event like a massive heat wave or freak winter storm — is likely to be sufficiently persuasive by itself. J.d. Morris, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Mar. 2021 Von Miller suffered a freak season-ending ankle injury six days before the opener, and the cavalcade of injured teammates who followed included Courtland Sutton, Jurrell Casey, Mike Purcell and Albert Okwuegbunam. Mark Heim |, al, 3 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don’t freak out—this is natural and will fade over time. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 28 Mar. 2021 Even though large spiders can freak people out, Godwin said these trapdoor spiders are not coming to get you. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, 3 May 2021 Do not freak out, go ballistic or start threatening violence against the abuser. Halley Bondy, NBC News, 4 Mar. 2021 The second most common concern is taper tantrums, which occur when markets freak out over surging bond yields. Matt Egan, CNN, 16 Mar. 2021 Nany and Kaycee finish the second checkpoint while Amber B. still can't get her first and starts to completely freak out. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 8 Apr. 2021 Since the beginning of popular music, rock stars have often invoked Satan as a surefire way to scandalize parents and freak out the squares. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, 1 Apr. 2021 Don’t ignore maintenance, but don’t freak out about exactly following manufacturer service schedules. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, 29 Mar. 2021 McMurtry, perhaps the most competitive player on the team, began to freak out a bit. Chris Ballard, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2021

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

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Freak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on freak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for freak

Nglish: Translation of freak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of freak for Arabic Speakers


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