fright·​en·​ing | \ ˈfrī-tᵊn-iŋ How to pronounce frightening (audio) , ˈfrīt-niŋ \

Definition of frightening

: causing fear frightening news a very frightening experience The man with red eyes made the frightening grimace that passed for his smile.— Madeleine L'Engle For a man who had tussled with crocs, venomous snakes and other frightening creatures, this was going to be a leisurely swim.— Jennifer Wulff et al.

First Known Use of frightening

1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frightening

from present participle of frighten

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The first known use of frightening was in 1652

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Cite this Entry

“Frightening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on frightening

Nglish: Translation of frightening for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frightening for Arabic Speakers


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