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[freek-out] /ˈfrikˌaʊt/
noun, Slang.
an act or instance of freaking out.
a person who freaks out.
Also, freakout.
Origin of freak-out
1965-70; noun use of verb phrase freak out


[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 a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behavior and activities to pursue one interest or obsession: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.
1555-65; 1965-70 for def 6; perhaps akin to Old English frīcian to dance
Can be confused
freak, phreak.
3. vagary, quirk, crotchet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for freak out
  • Be calm, don't get so hyped up that you tax an already effected and taxed respiratory system, ie freak out and hyperventilate.
  • But if that happens, the market might freak out a little.
  • It's also strange how they freak out about droughts here in the desert.
  • That, and people already freak out about living underneath power lines.
  • We'll keep our ears to the ground, but owners shouldn't freak out about this until there's ample reason to do so.
  • Also, don't bring anything that you are going to freak out over if it gets stained and you can't wash it right away.
  • People don't freak out when they see you on the street.
  • Carla began to freak out about the car and all our stuff.
  • Now the government is doing more and you freak out, cry and whine that the government is doing too much.
  • Must be in freak out mode that people are not buying your fact-free spin.
British Dictionary definitions for freak out

freak out

verb (adverb)
(informal) to be or cause to be in a heightened emotional state, such as that of fear, anger, or excitement


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 out

also freakout "bad psychedelic drug trip or something comparable to one," 1966 (despite an amusing coincidental appearance of the phrase dug up by the OED in "Fanny Hill" from 1749), from verbal phrase freak out, attested from 1965 in the drug sense (from 1902 in a sense "change, distort, come out of alignment"); see freak (n.). Freak (n.) "drug user" is attested from 1945.

She had had her freak out, and had pretty plentifully drowned her curiosity in a glut of pleasure .... [Cleland, "Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure," 1749]



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 out

freak out

verb phrase
  1. To have intense and disturbing hallucinations and other reactions from psychedelic drugs
  2. To go out of touch with reality, with or without narcotics; become irrational, esp frantically so; be intoxicated; flip out: plus the chance to freak out, speak in tongues or talk nonsense/ I saw those golden arches and I freaked out, because I'd just seen the buttes and all that great stuff
  3. To become very excited and exhilarated, as if intoxicated with narcotics
  4. To abandon conventional values and attitudes; drop out (1960s+ Narcotics)


  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)


  1. An instance of freaking out: aperiod which one feminist writer has called one of ''mass freak-outs all over the place''/ the same freakouts, the same strange clothes
  2. A person who is freaked out
  3. A frightening or nightmarish drug experience; bad trip, bummer
  4. A congregation of hippies (1960s+ Narcotics)

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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Idioms and Phrases with freak out

freak out

Experience or cause to experience hallucinations, paranoia, or other frightening feelings as a result of taking a mind-altering drug. For example, They were freaking out on LSD or some other drug. [ ; mid-1960s ]
Behave or cause to behave irrationally and uncontrollably, with enthusiasm, excitement, fear, or madness. For example, The band's wild playing made the audience freak out, or It was such a close accident, it really freaked me out, or She freaked out and ended up in the psychiatric ward. [ ; 1960s ]
Also see: wig out
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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