fright

noun
\ˈfrīt \

Definition of fright 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fear excited by sudden danger : alarm gave me quite a fright

2 : something strange, ugly, or shocking

fright

verb
frighted; frighting; frights

Definition of fright (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to alarm suddenly : frighten

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fright

Synonyms: Noun

eyesore, hideosity, horror, mess, monstrosity, sight

Synonyms: Verb

affright, alarm (also alarum), frighten, horrify, panic, scare, scarify, shock, spook, startle, terrify, terrorize

Antonyms: Verb

reassure

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Choose the Right Synonym for fright

Noun

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety. faced the meeting with dread fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear. fright at being awakened suddenly alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger. view the situation with alarm panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity. the news caused widespread panic terror implies the most extreme degree of fear. immobilized with terror trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation. raised the subject with trepidation

Examples of fright in a Sentence

Noun

Her eyes were wide with fright. people in our neighborhood think that that orange and green office building is a hideous fright

Verb

a ghastly sight that would fright even the most stouthearted soul
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Post-Halloween, guests enjoyed some frights at last night’s New York City premiere of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "The Girl in the Spider’s Web," 5 Nov. 2018 Corman cranked out frights on the cheap, but he wasn’t known for betting on artists. Mickey Rapkin, Town & Country, "The Horror of Jason Blum," 17 Oct. 2018 So sharks, even extinct ones, have real fright power. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "Prehistoric survivor? How we know the 'Meg' is dead," 15 Aug. 2018 While the trailer may be fake, the frights can still be real — see for yourself. Sarah Grace Hart, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Turned "The Kissing Booth" Trailer Into a Horror Movie," 30 Oct. 2018 This Halloween wants to get back to the smaller-scale frights of the original, by placing most of Michael’s kills in mundane, domestic settings. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The new Halloween reimagines the franchise as a tale of maternal warrior women," 19 Oct. 2018 Turn up the fright The pumpkin A classic jack-o-lantern is always fun to make. Mali Anderson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ideas for celebrating Halloween with kids: From the not-so-scary to the downright spooky," 16 Oct. 2017 Aside from fright, West shrieks about being a superhero, with his superpower being his bipolar disorder. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Kanye West's 'Yikes'," 12 June 2018 If the turmoil in Italy and the markets’ fright have served as a reminder of such dangers, and spur reform both in Rome and Brussels, then some good may come of the mess. The Economist, "Italy needs to be handled with care," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fright.' 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 fright

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fright

Noun

Middle English, going back to Old English fyrhtu, fyrtho, fryhto (Northumbrian) "fear, dread, source of dread," going back to Germanic *furhtīn- (whence also Gothic faurhtei), noun derivative of *furhta- "frightened, fearful" (whence Old English forht "frightened," Old Saxon foraht, foroht, Old High German forht, foraht, Gothic faurhts), probably going back to Indo-European *pr̥k-to-, adjective from a verbal base *pr̥k-, whence also Tocharian A & B pärsk- "be afraid" (going back to *pr̥k-sk-)

Note: Germanic nouns derived directly from the adjective include Old Frisian fruchte "fear," Old Saxon forhta, Old High German forahta. Indo-European *p(e)rk- is taken by some to be a "root extension" of a hypothetical base *per- "test, risk," which would connect it to fear entry 1; see note at peril entry 1.

Verb

Middle English frighten, going back to Old English fyrhtan, going back to Germanic *furhtjan- (whence also Old Saxon forhtian "to fear, shy away from," Old High German forahten, furhten, Gothic faurhtjan), verbal derivative of *furhta- "frightened, fearful" — more at fright entry 1

Note: The causative meaning of the Old English verb is not reflected in the other Germanic forms; Old English also has a weak verb of a different class, forhtian "to fear, be afraid."

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Statistics for fright

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fright

The first known use of fright was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fright

fright

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fright

: fear caused by sudden danger : sudden fear

: a feeling of sudden fear

: something that looks strange, shocking, ugly, etc.

fright

noun
\ˈfrīt \

Kids Definition of fright

1 : sudden terror : great fear

2 : something that frightens or is ugly or shocking You look a fright! What happened?

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More from Merriam-Webster on fright

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fright

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fright

Spanish Central: Translation of fright

Nglish: Translation of fright for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fright for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fright

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