\ 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

Pegg is among the dozens of famous faces who appear in the documentary to pay tribute to their late friend and collaborator, who died in a freak auto accident in 2016. Mary Sollosi,, "See Simon Pegg share a sweet memory of Anton Yelchin in exclusive Love, Antosha clip," 2 Aug. 2019 Though Del Mar had the nation’s lowest death rate last year — 0.79 per 1,000 starts — any death is troubling, and a freak training accident killed two horses here July 18, just after opening day. Los Angeles Times, "Postcard From L.A.: Del Mar always brings out the social crowd. This year, protesters also showed up," 25 July 2019 Last year, one of the Chincoteague ponies died in what officials said was a freak accident. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Ponies swim at Chincoteague in annual Virginia tradition," 24 July 2019 My partner, my love, and my home died yesterday after a freak accident. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "In 'freak accident,’ father of 6 killed by strong wave at beach," 22 July 2019 Two horses died Thursday morning in a freak training accident at Del Mar, track officials confirmed. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Two horses killed at Del Mar in freak training accident," 18 July 2019 But if these kinds of freak storms happen again and again as global temperatures rise, there’s no guarantee that things will continue to go so smoothly. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Climate change could intensify DC floods, but engineering can help," 8 July 2019 The freak-out is the point, at least if the premiere episode is to be believed. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Trolling America in HBO’s Euphoria," 19 June 2019 Floyd arrived as a 6-foot-4 athletic freak when he was drafted out of Georgia and played at around 235 pounds as a rookie. Brad Biggs,, "Leonard Floyd is bigger, stronger, healthy — and ready for a breakout season opposite Khalil Mack," 17 June 2019

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

Of course, the lyric's reference to the wedding rhyme got Swifties freaking out, as many assumed this meant the singer is engaged to her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Taylor Swift is Sparking Engagement Rumors with Her Newest Song Lyrics," 9 Aug. 2019 Watching Sal freak out is funny, but watching the other Jokers mess with him from outside the door is even funnier. Daniel Menegaz,, "The most hilarious moments from Impractical Jokers," 9 Aug. 2019 The ranch is in the middle of nowhere, and in the car on the way over, Salarizadeh is freaking out. Amanda Chicago Lewis, The Verge, "Big Alcohol is pouring," 30 July 2019 Or is that so unnatural that your skin will just freak out and eventually grow them again? Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Please Tell Me How to Actually Get Rid of Blackheads Already," 29 July 2019 Seriously -- who freaking cares that much about being right. Carolyn Hax,, "Carolyn Hax: Mother has a right to her anger when grandparents call ‘bunk’ on childrens’ food allergies," 27 July 2019 Marshmallows, freaking out when Hulu unexpectedly dropped the entire new 8-episode Veronica Mars season a week early. Ariana Brockington,, "Veronica Mars Just Changed Everything — Here's What The Cast Was Like Before Things Got Real," 25 July 2019 As beauty editors, traveling is an important part of the job, and living a jet-setting life is all fun and games...until your skin freaks out and jet lag overtakes your body. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Marie Claire Beauty Editors Share Their In-Flight Beauty Routines," 24 July 2019 If there are humans, then why aren't the humans freaking out that there are a bunch of clothes- and hat-wearing bipedal cats who look vaguely like humans and sing show tunes all around New York City? Travis M. Andrews,, "The ‘Cats’ trailer has dropped; we have 34 questions," 20 July 2019

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

11 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

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