Definition of fright in English:

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Pronunciation: /frʌɪt/


[mass noun]
1A sudden intense feeling of fear: I jumped up in fright
More example sentences
  • The conclusion was she probably died of fright from an attack by the neighbour's cat.
  • The reality of such fears is borne out by the evidence of tombstones testifying to those who died of fright after seeing a ghost.
  • Last year hundreds of birds died of fright due to fireworks being set off near the Hutchinson Road sanctuary.
scare, shock, surprise, turn, jolt, start;
the shivers, the shakes
informal the jitters, the heebie-jeebies, the willies, the creeps, the collywobbles, a cold sweat
British informal the (screaming) abdabs, butterflies (in one's stomach)
1.1 [count noun] An experience that causes one to feel sudden intense fear: she’s had a nasty fright
More example sentences
  • ‘That's an awful lot of anxious households who have nasty frights for nothing,’ says Hazel Thornton, a research Fellow at Leicester University's Department of Health Sciences.
  • That there are no frights in a film based on classic horror concepts doesn't seem to bother Sommers, whose only moment of something approaching real emotion comes during the end credits, when he dedicates the film to his dad.
  • Such natural frights in the night are acceptable.


[with object] archaic
Frighten: come, be comforted, he shan’t fright you
More example sentences
  • Our long ride from Newark to Chester had wearied me, and the restive days of preparation had both excited and frighted me.
  • So we should be frighted about the abilities we possess.
  • Boswell was easily frighted when talk turned to the supernatural.



look a fright

informal Have a dishevelled or ridiculous appearance: oh my God, I look an absolute fright
More example sentences
  • He's green, foul-smelling, warty, impolite and looks a fright.
  • She knew she looked a fright and was trying to lay low.
  • She realized she probably looked a fright in muddy breeches, and reached up to push a wisp of hair out of her eyes.
ugly sight, horrible sight, grotesque sight, eyesore, monstrosity, horror, frightful spectacle
informal mess, sight, state, blot on the landscape

take fright

Suddenly become frightened or panicked: the City took fright at escalating costs and marked the shares down
More example sentences
  • The horses pulling the carriage suddenly took fright for no apparent reason, snapped the traces and bolted off, startling both the hosts and their guest of honour.
  • Suddenly his horse took fright, and he was carried with dreadful rapidity through the entangled forest.
  • If investors take fright, stocks could fall below their current levels, they said.


Old English fryhto, fyrhto (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch furcht and German furcht.

Words that rhyme with fright

affright, alight, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, flight, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, night, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, spite, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write

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