frighten

play
verb fright·en \ˈfrī-tən\

Definition of frighten

frightened

;

frightening

play \ˈfrī-tən-iŋ, ˈfrīt-niŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make afraid :  terrify The movie scene frightened the child.

  3. 2 :  to drive or force by frightening frightened the boy into confessing

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  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.

Origin and Etymology of frighten

see 1fright


First Known Use: 1630



FRIGHTEN Defined for English Language Learners

frighten

play
verb fright·en \ˈfrī-tən\

Definition of frighten for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to become afraid

  • : to become afraid


FRIGHTEN Defined for Kids

frighten

play
verb fright·en \ˈfrī-tən\

Definition of frighten for Students

frightened

;

frightening

  1. :  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

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!