\ ˈfrisk How to pronounce frisk (audio) \
frisked; frisking; frisks

Definition of frisk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to search (a person) for something (such as a concealed weapon) by running the hand rapidly over the clothing and through the pockets

intransitive verb

: to leap, skip, or dance in a lively or playful way : gambol



Definition of frisk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of frisking

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Other Words from frisk


frisker noun

Synonyms for frisk

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of frisk in a Sentence

Verb carefree kids laughing and frisking about in their backyard Noun fondly remembers the summer before he started college as one long frisk
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Others who joined the demonstrations stood a good chance of being frisked by Mr Sadr’s men, who looked out for troublemakers. The Economist, "Sadder and Sadr Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraq’s most volatile cleric, stakes his claim to power," 30 Jan. 2020 In 2013, African Americans and Latinos were stopped-and-frisked more often than whites, 60.1% vs 46.7%, but weapons were almost twice as likely to be found on whites than Blacks or Latinos. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Michael Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop-and-Frisk," 19 Nov. 2019 While this is happening, Firman is told to exit her vehicle by Officer Josh Doerr, who frisks her. Hollie Silverman And Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Louisville Police Department accused of 'racially biased' traffic stops in at least 3 lawsuits," 25 Sep. 2019 People were frisked in 52% of those stops, but a weapon was found in only 1.5% of those cases. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Michael Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop-and-Frisk," 19 Nov. 2019 In response to a lawsuit by the ACLU, the New York City Police Department drastically cut back on stopping and frisking black and Latino pedestrians. Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times, "LAPD searches blacks and Latinos more. But they’re less likely to have contraband than whites," 8 Oct. 2019 Every 10-15 minutes, Indian soldiers stopped vehicles and frisked travelers. Washington Post, "Inside locked down Kashmir, a reporter finds fear and chaos," 14 Aug. 2019 His idea for fighting crime is allowing cops to randomly stop people, primarily African Americans, and frisk them without reasonable cause. Dahleen Glanton,, "Column: Inviting Donald Trump to address top cops gathering in Chicago is a slap in the face to our city — an opportunity Trump has been waiting for," 28 Oct. 2019 Williams had stopped Reynolds and was planning to frisk him. Edmund H. Mahony,, "A federal judge is challenging how Connecticut treats its former death row inmates, saying they are held under cruel and unusual conditions," 21 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Abraham served as DA, the Philadelphia police ramped up stop-and-frisk tactics, making more than 250,000 stops in 2009. Alex Yablon, The New Republic, "Larry Krasner’s Lonely, Radical Crusade to Solve America’s Gun Problem," 28 Jan. 2020 Bloomberg was also pushed on his apology for his mayoral stop-and-frisk policy, and was asked if his only apologized for the policy to help a presidential run. Jordan Jackson, NBC News, "Michael Bloomberg questioned on NDAs, stop-and-frisk apology on 'The View'," 16 Jan. 2020 The former New York mayor remains infamous in some circles for championing stop-and-frisk police searches. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "January Democratic debate: 6 things to watch for Pete Buttigieg," 14 Jan. 2020 During his tenure as mayor, the New York Police Department (NYPD) embraced a policy called stop-and-frisk that came to symbolize the harassment of minorities by police. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Bloomberg’s presidential campaign used prison labor to solicit votes," 24 Dec. 2019 Updates on compliance with the settlement agreement in the ACLU stop-and-frisk lawsuit. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Commission chairman: No vote this week on Milwaukee police chief's expiring contract," 16 Dec. 2019 The number of stops more than doubled from 314,000 in 2004 to 686,000 in 2011, at the peak of New York City’s stop-and-frisk regime. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Michael Bloomberg Apologizes for Stop-and-Frisk," 19 Nov. 2019 Worried that Gonzalez was in possession of a weapon, the officers conducted a pat-frisk and found a loaded Glock Model 17 in his waistband, police said., "A day after police responded to gunshots reported near a playground in Roxbury, officers on patrol near the same park arrested a man on gun charges and recovered a loaded pistol Wednesday evening, police said.," 29 Nov. 2019 And his mayoral record, including his support for stop-and-frisk policing and his championing of charter schools, has the potential to alienate pillars of the Democratic Party’s political base. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Michael Bloomberg Actively Prepares to Enter 2020 Presidential Race," 7 Nov. 2019

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


1519, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1525, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

History and Etymology for frisk


obsolete frisk lively

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Time Traveler for frisk

Time Traveler

The first known use of frisk was in 1519

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Statistics for frisk

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frisk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for frisk


How to pronounce frisk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of frisk

: to pass your hands over (someone) to search for something that may be hidden in clothing


\ ˈfrisk How to pronounce frisk (audio) \
frisked; frisking

Kids Definition of frisk

1 : to move around in a lively or playful way
2 : to search a person quickly for something that may be hidden

Legal Definition of frisk

: to run the hand rapidly over the outer clothing of (a suspect) for the purpose of finding concealed weapons — compare search

Note: The purpose of frisking a suspect is to insure the safety of an officer making an investigation against concealed weapons, not to uncover evidence. The officer must be justified in his or her encounter of the suspect and must have a reasonable suspicion that the suspect is armed. The scope of the frisk must be limited to the discovery of weapons.

Other Words from frisk

frisk noun

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frisk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frisk

Spanish Central: Translation of frisk

Nglish: Translation of frisk for Spanish Speakers

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