Definition of frightener in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrʌɪt(ə)nə/


1A person or thing that frightens someone.
Example sentences
  • At 42 inches long, the freshwater frightener was deemed ‘a very big catch any fisherman would be proud of’ by Bob Carlson, the owner of Carlson's Fishing Tackle, Kendal.
  • The fire at Fat Boy's was only meant to be a frightener.
  • So Eriksson, in a move of stunning and unexpected simplicity, has made the second frightener his captain.
1.1British informal A member of a criminal gang who intimidates its victims.
Example sentences
  • More than once he has had to flee his home to escape armed frighteners.


put the frighteners on

British informal Threaten or intimidate (someone): trying to put the frighteners on those who wish to roam over open country is childish
More example sentences
  • Hard as it is to believe, Grover the ex-boxer and former East End man about town, felt as though someone was putting the frighteners on him.
  • We'll see if our little ‘chat’ puts the frighteners on them.
  • He wanted Mr Blythe ‘to put the frighteners on him’.

Words that rhyme with frightener

enlightener, whitener
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