Synonyms & Antonyms of fright

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 something unpleasant to look at
  • people in our neighborhood think that that orange and green office building is a hideous fright

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2 the emotion experienced in the presence or threat of danger
  • the earthquake so filled me with fright that I still have trouble sleeping

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Synonyms & Antonyms of fright (Entry 2 of 2)

to strike with fear
  • a ghastly sight that would fright even the most stouthearted soul

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Frequently Asked Questions About fright

How is the word fright distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of fright are alarm, dread, fear, panic, terror, and trepidation. While all these words mean "painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger," fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear.

fright at being awakened suddenly

When is it sensible to use alarm instead of fright?

In some situations, the words alarm and fright are roughly equivalent. However, alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger.

view the situation with alarm

In what contexts can dread take the place of fright?

The words dread and fright can be used in similar contexts, but dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.

faced the meeting with dread

When can fear be used instead of fright?

The synonyms fear and fright are sometimes interchangeable, but fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage.

fear of the unknown

When could panic be used to replace fright?

The meanings of panic and fright largely overlap; however, panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity.

the news caused widespread panic

When is terror a more appropriate choice than fright?

Although the words terror and fright have much in common, terror implies the most extreme degree of fear.

immobilized with terror

How are the words trepidation and dread related as synonyms of fright?

Trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation.

raised the subject with trepidation

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The first known use of fright was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Fright.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fright

Nglish: Translation of fright for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fright for Arabic Speakers


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