frighten

verb fright·en \ ˈfrī-tᵊn \
|Updated on: 4 Aug 2018

Definition of frighten

frightened; frightening play \ˈfrī-tᵊn-iŋ, ˈfrīt-niŋ\
1 : to make afraid : terrify
  • The movie scene frightened the child.
2 : to drive or force by frightening
  • frightened the boy into confessing
: to become frightened
  • She doesn't frighten easily.

frighteningly

play \ˈfrī-tᵊn-iŋ-lē, ˈfrīt-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of frighten in a Sentence

  1. The story really frightened me.

  2. The child was badly frightened by the mask.

Recent Examples of frighten from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frighten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of frighten

frighten Synonyms



FRIGHTEN Defined for English Language Learners

frighten

Definition of frighten for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to become afraid

  • : to become afraid


FRIGHTEN Defined for Kids

frighten

verb fright·en \ ˈfrī-tᵊn \

Definition of frighten for Students

frightened; frightening
: to make afraid : terrify

frighteningly

adverb


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up frighten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a lighting electrician on a movie set

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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