9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[frahyt-nd] /ˈfraɪt nd/
thrown into a fright; afraid; scared; terrified:
a frightened child cowering in the corner.
afraid; fearful (usually followed by of):
He has always been frightened of heights.
Origin of frightened
1715-25; frighten + -ed2
Related forms
frightenedly, adverb
unfrightened, adjective
well-frightened, adjective
2. See afraid.


[frahyt-n] /ˈfraɪt n/
verb (used with object)
to make afraid or fearful; throw into a fright; terrify; scare.
to drive (usually followed by away, off, etc.) by scaring:
to frighten away pigeons from the roof.
verb (used without object)
to become frightened:
a timid child who frightens easily.
1660-70; fright + -en1
Related forms
frightenable, adjective
frightener, noun
frighteningly, adverb
nonfrightening, adjective
nonfrighteningly, adverb
overfrighten, verb
unfrightening, adjective
1. shock, startle, dismay, intimidate. Frighten, alarm, scare, terrify, terrorize, appall all mean to arouse fear in people or animals. To frighten is to shock with sudden, startling, but usually short-lived fear, especially that arising from the apprehension of physical harm: to frighten someone by a sudden noise. To alarm is to arouse the feelings through the realization of some imminent or unexpected danger: to alarm someone by a scream. To scare is to frighten, often without the presence of real danger: Horror movies really scare me. To terrify is to strike with violent, overwhelming, or paralyzing fear: to terrify a city by lawless acts. To terrorize is to terrify in a general, continued, systematic manner, either wantonly or in order to gain control: His marauding armies terrorized the countryside. To appall is to overcome or confound by dread, dismay, shock, or horror: The suffering caused by the earthquake appalled him. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for frightened
  • Cats will also pant when they are frightened or scared.
  • Most of the dangers that frightened financial markets during the year have failed to materialise.
  • It's our natural inclination to try and make a frightened dog feel safe.
  • At first the dog seemed frightened of the city's noise, and he thought he'd made a mistake in accepting her.
  • If kids are easily frightened by scary images of any kind, they should not see this movie.
  • Admitting when you're frightened and ignorant can be the first step in overcoming fear and ignorance.
  • It is concerned about social cohesion and frightened by its home-grown bombers.
  • However, the same people who are so frightened of nuclear power are preventing irradiation of food.
  • So frightened his knees were shaking, he ran farther along the lake.
  • We froze the dividend, and it frightened the life out of our shareholders.
British Dictionary definitions for frightened


verb (transitive)
to cause fear in; terrify; scare
to drive or force to go (away, off, out, in, etc) by making afraid
Derived Forms
frightened, adjective
frightening, adjective
frighteningly, adverb
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 frightened



1660s, from fright + -en (1). Related: Frightened; frightening. The earlier verb was simply fright (Old English fyrhtan) "to frighten."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with frightened


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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