Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[uh-frahyt] /əˈfraɪt/ Archaic.
verb (used with object)
to frighten.
sudden fear or terror; fright.
a source of terror.
the act of terrifying.
Origin of affright
before 1000; Middle English afrighten, Old English āfyrhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + fyrhtan to fright
Related forms
self-affrighted, adjective
unaffrighted, adjective
unaffrightedly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for affright
Historical Examples
  • He anxiously inquired into the cause of my affright, and the motive of my unusual absence.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
  • She would have screamed with affright, but he grasped her by the throat, and nearly strangled her.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • Candace shrank away from the brink with a sensation of affright.

    A Little Country Girl Susan Coolidge
  • It was not given to her not to please, nor granted even to her best refinements to affright.

    Embarrassments Henry James
  • J follow the same system in writing my first english letter to Miss burney; after such an enterprize nothing can affright me.

  • The rider, fleeing in affright, has given no heed to direction.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • He groaned aloud unconsciously and started with affright at the sound of his own voice.

    Almayer's Folly Joseph Conrad
  • With tears of affright in her eyes, the maiden sank back and fainted.

    Aslauga's Knight Fredrich de la Motte-Fouque
  • An infirm old woman, who was at that moment crossing, screamed in affright.

    Zula H. Esselstyn Lindley
  • Primrose opened her eyes and then gave a little shriek of affright.

    A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia Amanda Minnie Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for affright


(transitive) to frighten
a sudden terror
Word Origin
Old English āfyrhtan, from a-, a prefix indicating the beginning or end of an action + fyrhtan to fright
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for affright

1580s, a late construction from a- (1) + fright (v.), probably on model of earlier past participle adjective affright "struck with sudden fear" (metathesized from Old English afyrht). Related: Affrighted; affrighting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for affright

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for affright

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for affright