fright·​ened ˈfrī-tᵊnd How to pronounce frightened (audio)
: feeling fear : made to feel afraid
a badly frightened child
The farmer was hurrying out into the road, and his wife was standing at the gate, looking very frightened.Anna Sewell

Examples of frightened in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his love life Napoleon is depicted as a clumsy, frightened and timid little boy. Zenger News, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 People are frightened of not producing in this obsessed world of continuous work. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2023 As Terry was carried away by medical professionals, the country star sat down on stage to lead the frightened audience in prayer. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 2 Oct. 2023 Both does and bucks will issue a brief snort when alarmed or frightened. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 28 Sep. 2023 Video shows large crowds of frightened civilians, many with young children, seeking shelter at a Russian peacekeeping base. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 The smoke was visible at the checkpoint, but the soldiers, who seemed frightened, shouted at him to stay back and not come any closer. Nathan Thrall, Curbed, 25 Oct. 2023 McRae worked several months on Austin’s job sites, drew a paycheck, hit the road, and Austin, who was mildly frightened by the man’s rhetoric, expected never to hear from him again. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 Is this someone who can’t feel, or who is frightened of feeling too much? Ian Penman, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'frightened.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from past participle of frighten

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of frightened was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near frightened

Cite this Entry

“Frightened.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on frightened

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