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[frahyt] /fraɪt/
sudden and extreme fear; a sudden terror.
a person or thing of shocking, grotesque, or ridiculous appearance.
verb (used with object)
to frighten.
Origin of fright
before 900; Middle English; Old English frytu, fyrhto; akin to German Furcht
Related forms
self-frighted, adjective
unfrighted, adjective
1. dismay, consternation, alarm. See terror. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fright
  • The guy who sings the national anthem has probably taken a beta blocker to calm his stage fright.
  • If unemployment climbs much higher, then consumers are likely to take fright.
  • The repellent is thought to act as a fright substance that warns other sharks to stay away.
  • Researchers get a rare glimpse at life without fright.
  • From art heists to fright flicks, here are five of our favorite movies that memorably feature museums.
  • But more than my fright at the complexity of her game was another reaction, this one in my gut.
  • Already jittery financial markets have taken fright.
  • Your narrative of your last experience there makes me shiver in fright.
  • Even musicians sometimes use the heart drugs beta blockers to combat stage fright.
  • The big downsides to this are, first, that it gives everyone reading newspapers a fright.
British Dictionary definitions for fright


sudden intense fear or alarm
a sudden alarming shock
(informal) a horrifying, grotesque, or ludicrous person or thing: she looks a fright in that hat
take fright, to become frightened
a poetic word for frighten
Word Origin
Old English fryhto; related to Gothic faurhtei, Old Frisian fruchte, Old High German forhta
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 fright

Old English (Northumbrian) fryhto, metathesis of fyrhtu "fear, dread, trembling, horrible sight," from Proto-Germanic *furkhtaz "afraid" (cf. Old Saxon forhta, Old Frisian fruchte, Old High German forhta, German Furcht, Gothic faurhtei "fear"). Not etymologically related to the word fear, which superseded it 13c. as the principal word except in cases of sudden terror. For spelling evolution, see fight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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