There are 4 definitions of fret in English:

fret1

Line breaks: fret
Pronunciation: /frɛt
 
/

verb (frets, fretting, fretted)

1 [no object] Be constantly or visibly anxious: she fretted about the cost of groceries
More example sentences
  • The neurotic quality that Brooks brings to his characters is well suited to Marlin, constantly fretting over Nemo's safety and youthful exuberance.
  • An alarming new survey has found that almost one in four parents fret constantly about whether they have the ability to raise their children properly.
  • Another focuses on an anxious woman who frets about how her partner's personality changes when he gets behind the wheel.
Synonyms
worry, be anxious, feel uneasy, be distressed, be upset, upset oneself, concern oneself, feel unhappy; agonize, anguish, sorrow, sigh, pine, brood, mope; fuss, make a fuss, complain, grumble, whine, eat one's heart out
informal stew, feel peeved
1.1 [with object] Cause anxiety to: his absence during her times awake began to fret her
More example sentences
  • Policyholders must be fretting themselves witless over what to do next.
  • ‘It's brilliant for the fans,’ says Killen, unconcerned with the stress caused by the forward-thinking foursome in fretting defenders across the country.
Synonyms
trouble, bother, concern, perturb, disturb, disquiet, disconcert, make anxious, cause anxiety, distress, upset, torment, alarm, panic, cause to panic, agitate
informal rattle, eat away at
archaic pother
2 [with object] Gradually wear away (something) by rubbing or gnawing: the bay’s black waves fret the seafront
More example sentences
  • In all the caves they were surrounded by beautifully fluted and fretted columns whose pure white frosted surfaces shone out like beacons in the harsh magnesium light of their lanterns.
  • It has a proper mixed-use urban centre that focuses on a park and stretches along a magnificent site between forested hills and the complex fretted geometry of the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
2.1Form (a channel or passage) by rubbing or wearing away: what shape the sea has fretted into the land
3 [no object] Flow or move in small waves: squelchy clay that fretted between his toes

noun

[in singular] chiefly British Back to top  
A state of anxiety: an economy in a state of fret and irritation
More example sentences
  • She also says that stars who had to return their borrowed designer duds did not have fret about removing sweat stains.

Origin

Old English fretan 'devour, consume', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vreten and German fressen, and ultimately to for- and eat.

Definition of fret in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day keek
Pronunciation: kēk
verb
peep surreptitiously

There are 4 definitions of fret in English:

fret2

Line breaks: fret
Pronunciation: /frɛt
 
/

noun

1 Art & Architecture A repeating ornamental design of vertical and horizontal lines, such as the Greek key pattern.
More example sentences
  • In France, reaction against the asymmetric filigree of late Rococo produced frames with architectural frets and interlaced ornament, suited to the Neoclassical interior.
2 Heraldry A device of narrow diagonal bands interlaced through a diamond.

verb (frets, fretting, fretted)

[with object] (usually as adjective fretted) Back to top  
Decorate with fretwork: intricately carved and fretted balustrades
More example sentences
  • Late medieval screens were frequently carved in an exuberant Gothic style with fretted tracery, pinnacles, and arcades.
  • The interior is further illuminated by slatted or fretted skylights while lower down, translucent canopies act as light diffusors.
  • An archway on the western side of the pool opens on the causeway, bordered with balustrades of fretted marble, and, at close intervals there are standard lamps, their great lanterns set upon the marble columns.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French frete 'trelliswork' and freter (verb), of unknown origin.

Definition of fret in:

There are 4 definitions of fret in English:

fret3

Line breaks: fret
Pronunciation: /frɛt
 
/

noun

Each of a sequence of ridges on the fingerboard of some stringed musical instruments (such as the guitar), used for fixing the positions of the fingers to produce the desired notes.
More example sentences
  • She studied what she had wrote, playing it back in her mind while lightly tapping her foot as she moved her hand to the various positions on the frets of the guitar.
  • The instrument has no frets or fingerboard; the strings float in the air.
  • He positioned her left hand and put her fingers on certain frets.

verb (frets, fretting, fretted)

[with object] (often as adjective fretted) Back to top  
1Provide (a stringed instrument) with frets: a fretted neck
More example sentences
  • The ability of fretted instruments to play chords and drive a piece along rhythmically has done a lot to change the range of sound in Irish music over the past 30 years.
  • The pipa is a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard.
2Play (a note) while pressing the string down against a fret: fretted notes

Origin

early 16th century: of unknown origin.

Derivatives

fretless

adjective
More example sentences
  • The violin is fretless; there are no bars on the neck of the instrument that divide the strings into exact musical intervals corresponding to the chromatic, Western, scale.
  • The breakup of the party began when a comment about Jaco Pastorius led to a discussion about fretted versus fretless basses, and which Pastorius album was his best.
  • Like all good early '80s albums, it features lots of fretless bass and glistening electronics.

Definition of fret in:

There are 4 definitions of fret in English:

fret4

Line breaks: fret
Pronunciation: /frɛt
 
/
(also sea fret)

noun

Northern English
A mist coming in off the sea; a sea fog.
More example sentences
  • The flinty soil there makes for a robust, nutty grain and the sea frets mellow it to a delicious flavour
  • After mooring and rigging for the night the sea fret closed in further limiting visibility to less than 100 yards.
  • I can hear a siren when the air is still, and the sea fret comes in.

Origin

mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of fret in: