fraught

adjective
\ ˈfrȯt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Definition of fraught

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : full of or accompanied by something specified used with with a situation fraught with dangerThe paper was poorly researched and is fraught with errors.
2 : causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension : uneasy a fraught relationship
3 archaic
a : laden
b : well supplied or provided

fraught

noun
\ ˈfrȯḵt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Definition of fraught (Entry 2 of 3)

chiefly Scotland
: load, cargo

fraught

verb
\ ˈfrȯḵt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \
fraughted or fraught; fraughting

Definition of fraught (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland

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Verb

The drowmound was so hevy fraught / That unethe myght it saylen aught. That verse, from the 14th-century poem "Richard Coer de Lion," says that a large ship (a dromond) was so heavily loaded that it could barely sail. That's the first instance we have on record of the adjective "fraught." The word came to Middle English from the Middle Dutch or Middle Low German noun vracht, which meant "load" and which is also the source of the word freight. Middle English also possessed a noun "fraught" that meant "load" and a verb "fraughten" that meant "to load" (meanings still retained in Scottish English by "fraught," the verb and noun). For centuries, "fraught" continued to be used only of loaded ships, but its use was eventually broadened.

Examples of fraught in a Sentence

Adjective every room in my childhood home is fraught with memories had a fraught meeting with his estranged wife to discuss a divorce settlement
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Two politically fraught proposals to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine mandates did not come up for a vote this week after failing to garner enough support ahead of legislative deadlines. Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2021 The result will last for 10 years, until the next census, and is politically fraught: Political parties, groups and individual legislators frequently worry that one map or another may disadvantage them. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2021 How to fix such a murky, politically-fraught problem? Anne Quito, Quartz, 23 Aug. 2021 The British decision raised eyebrows in another country fighting a hard and politically fraught battle against COVID. Luke Taylor, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 Ultimately, concerns about spikes in hospitalizations and deaths in unvaccinated Americans led to decisions officials acknowledge will be politically fraught. Jeremy Diamond, Kevin Liptak And Kaitlan Collins, CNN, 27 July 2021 The situation has become so politically fraught that even some of the largest Japanese sponsors of the Games have distanced themselves from the event, including Toyota, which declined to run an TV ads during the television broadcast in the country. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 23 July 2021 But when a strange new monster begins terrorizing a politically fraught kingdom, Vesemir finds himself on a frightening adventure that forces him to confront the demons of his past. Christian Holub, EW.com, 21 July 2021 Reforms of these popular programs were so politically fraught that finding consensus on solutions proved impossible during our tenure in the Senate. Bob Kerrey And John C. Danforth, WSJ, 20 June 2021

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fraught

Adjective

Middle English, from past participle of fraughten — see fraught entry 3

Noun

Middle English, freight, load, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German vracht, vrecht

Verb

Middle English fraughten, from fraught entry 2

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Time Traveler for fraught

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The first known use of fraught was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fraught

Frauenfeld

fraught

fraughtage

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Statistics for fraught

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fraught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fraught. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for fraught

fraught

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fraught

: causing or having a lot of emotional stress or worry : anxious

fraught

adjective
\ ˈfrȯt How to pronounce fraught (audio) \

Kids Definition of fraught

: full of some quality The situation is fraught with danger.

More from Merriam-Webster on fraught

Nglish: Translation of fraught for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fraught for Arabic Speakers

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