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[freek] /frik/
any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly; aberration.
a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviation from nature; monster.
a sudden and apparently causeless change or turn of events, the mind, etc.; an apparently capricious notion, occurrence, etc.:
That kind of sudden storm is a freak.
Numismatics. an imperfect coin, undetected at the mint and put into circulation.
Philately. a stamp differing from others of the same printing because of creases, dirty engraving plates, etc.
Compare error (def 8), variety (def 8).
  1. a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behavior and activities to pursue one interest or obsession:
    a drug freak.
  2. a devoted fan or follower; enthusiast:
    a baseball freak.
  3. a hippie.
Archaic. capriciousness; whimsicality.
unusual; odd; irregular:
a freak epidemic.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
to become or make frightened, nervous, or wildly excited:
The loud noise caused the horse to freak.
Verb phrases
freak out, Slang.
  1. to enter into or cause a period of irrational behavior or emotional instability, as under the influence of a drug:
    to be freaked out on LSD.
  2. to lose or cause to lose emotional control from extreme excitement, shock, fear, joy, despair, etc.:
    Seeing the dead body freaked him out.
Origin of freak1
1555-65; 1965-70 for def 6; perhaps akin to Old English frīcian to dance
Can be confused
freak, phreak.
3. vagary, quirk, crotchet.


[freek] /frik/
verb (used with object)
to fleck, streak, or variegate:
great splashes of color freaking the sky.
a fleck or streak of color.
apparently introduced by Milton in Lycidas (1637), perhaps as blend of freck to mark with spots (perhaps back formation from freckle) and streak Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for freak
  • freak deals usually turn into guessing games from which little can be learned, but occasionally one has instructive elements.
  • freak floods are threatening lives, homes and crops.
  • The blades need to be placed high enough that they will not break the waters surface even in a freak wave condition.
  • Big swells and freak waves are washing over the island more frequently.
  • Every now and then, some nonhuman freak comes along to mesmerize movie audiences.
  • Caveat: unless by some freak event they suddenly decide to take one of my courses next year.
  • Canadians have not warmed to him: he comes over as a bloodless control freak.
  • Chaos theory by definition cannot predict freak events.
  • When companies have unintended inventories, they freak and freeze.
  • And figures released last month show that this was no freak.
British Dictionary definitions for freak


a person, animal, or plant that is abnormal or deformed; monstrosity
  1. an object, event, etc, that is abnormal or extremely unusual
  2. (as modifier): a freak storm
a personal whim or caprice
(informal) a person who acts or dresses in a markedly unconventional or strange way
(informal) a person who is obsessed with something specified: a jazz freak
See freak out
Word Origin
C16: of obscure origin


a fleck or streak of colour
(transitive) to streak with colour; variegate
Word Origin
C17: from earlier freaked, probably coined by Milton, based on streak1 + obsolete freckt freckled; see freckle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for freak

1560s, "sudden turn of mind," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Old English frician "to dance" (not recorded in Middle English, but the word may have survived in dialect) [OED, Barnhart], or perhaps from Middle English frek "bold, quickly," from Old English frec "greedy, gluttonous" (cf. German frech "bold, impudent").

Sense of "capricious notion" (1560s) and "unusual thing, fancy" (1784) preceded that of "strange or abnormal individual" (first in freak of nature, 1847; cf. Latin lusus naturæ, used in English from 1660s). The sense in health freak, ecology freak, etc. is attested from 1908 (originally Kodak freak, a camera buff). Freak show attested from 1887.


"change, distort," 1911, from freak (n.). Earlier, "to streak or fleck randomly" (1630s). Related: Freaked; freaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for freak


  1. A strange or eccentric person (1891+)
  2. An expert; specialist; very good student (1895+ College students)
  3. A devotee or enthusiast; buff, fan (1908+)
  4. A male homosexual: ''Freak'' is a homosexual (1940s+ Jazz musicians)
  5. hippie (1960s+)
  6. An attractive person (1990s+ Teenagers)
  1. To behave strangely and disorientedly as if intoxicated by a psychedelic drug; freak out: His publisher for the last two books ''sort of freaked'' when they got a look at this one (1960s+)
  2. (also freak off) To do violent and deviant sex acts (1960s+ Prostitutes)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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