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v. fright·ened, fright·en·ing, fright·ens
1. To fill with fear; alarm.
2. To drive or force by arousing fear: The suspect was frightened into confessing.
To become afraid: told ghost stories to campers who frightened easily.

fright′en·er n.
fright′en·ing·ly adv.
Synonyms: frighten, scare, alarm, terrify, terrorize, startle, panic
These verbs mean to cause a person to experience fear. Frighten and the more informal scare are the most widely applicable: "The Count's mysterious warning frightened me at the time" (Bram Stoker).We scared each other telling ghost stories before bed.
Alarm implies a state of fearful anxiety, often brought on suddenly: The sight of the approaching shark alarmed the swimmers.
Terrify implies overwhelming, often paralyzing fear: "It is the coming of death that terrifies me" (Oscar Wilde).
To terrorize is to strike fear into another, often for purposes of coercion: "The decent citizen was terrorized into paying public blackmail" (Arthur Conan Doyle).
Startle suggests a momentary fright that may cause a sudden, involuntary movement of the body: The clap of thunder startled us.
Panic implies sudden frantic fear that often impairs self-control and rationality: The realistic radio drama panicked the listeners who tuned in after it had begun.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. 'afraid' and 'frightened'

If you are afraid or frightened, you feel fear because you think something bad will happen.

The children were so afraid that they ran away.
She felt frightened.

You can also say that you are afraid of someone or something, or frightened of them.

Tom is afraid of the dark.
They are frightened of their father.

If you don't want to do something because you think it might be harmful or dangerous, you can say that you are afraid to do it or frightened to do it.

Many crime victims are afraid to go to the police.
She was frightened to go out on her own.

Be Careful!
Afraid is used only after linking verbs such as be and feel. Don't use it in front of a noun. For example, don't talk about 'an afraid child'. However, you can talk about 'a frightened child'.

He was acting like a frightened kid.
2. another meaning of 'afraid'

If you are worried about something, you can say that you are afraid of doing something wrong, or afraid that something will happen. You don't usually use 'frightened' in this way.

She was afraid that I might be embarrassed.
She was afraid of being late for school.
3. 'I'm afraid...'

If you have to tell someone something and you think it might upset or annoy them, you can politely say 'I'm afraid...', 'I'm afraid so', or 'I'm afraid not'. 'I'm afraid so' means 'yes'. 'I'm afraid not' means 'no', and both of these expressions are used as responses to questions.

'I'm afraid Sue isn't at her desk at the moment. Can I take a message?'
'I hear she's leaving. Is that right?' – 'I'm afraid so.'
'Can you come round this evening?' – 'I'm afraid not.'


1. 'frighten'

If something frightens you, it makes you feel afraid.

Rats and mice don't frighten me.

Frighten is almost always a transitive verb. Don't say that someone 'frightens'. If you want to say that someone is afraid because of something that has happened or that might happen, you say that they are frightened.

Miriam was too frightened to tell her family what had happened.
He told the children not to be frightened.
For more information, see afraid - frightened
2. 'frightening'

Don't confuse frightened with frightening. Something that is frightening causes you to feel fear.

It was a very frightening experience.
It is frightening to think what damage could be done.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.frightened - made afraid; "the frightened child cowered in the corner"; "too shocked and scared to move"
afraid - filled with fear or apprehension; "afraid even to turn his head"; "suddenly looked afraid"; "afraid for his life"; "afraid of snakes"; "afraid to ask questions"
2.frightened - thrown into a state of intense fear or desperation; "became panicky as the snow deepened"; "felt panicked before each exam"; "trying to keep back the panic-stricken crowd"; "the terrified horse bolted"
afraid - filled with fear or apprehension; "afraid even to turn his head"; "suddenly looked afraid"; "afraid for his life"; "afraid of snakes"; "afraid to ask questions"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adjective afraid, alarmed, scared, terrified, shocked, frozen, cowed, startled, dismayed, unnerved, petrified, flustered, panicky, terrorized, in a panic, scared stiff, in a cold sweat, abashed, scared shitless (taboo slang), terror-stricken, shit-scared (taboo slang), affrighted (archaic), in fear and trepidation, numb with fear She was too frightened to tell them what happened.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
مذْعور، مَرْعوبمَرْعُوب
sợ hãi


[ˈfraɪtənd] adj
(= fearful) [children, eyes] → effrayé(e)
(= afraid) to be frightened → avoir peur
I'm frightened! → J'ai peur!
to be frightened of sth → avoir peur de qch
Anna's frightened of spiders → Anna a peur des araignées.
to be frightened to do sth → avoir peur de faire qch
to be frightened sth will happen → avoir peur que qch arrive
to be frightened of doing sth (= fear one will) → avoir peur de faire qch
I was frightened of making a fool of myself → J'avais peur de me ridiculiser.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj person, animalängstlich, verängstigt; voice, eyes, lookängstlich, angsterfüllt; to be frightened (of somebody/something)(vor jdm/etw) Angst haben; are you frightened of the dark?hast du Angst vor der Dunkelheit?; don’t be frightenedhab keine Angst; they were frightened (that) there would be another earthquakesie hatten Angst (davor), dass es noch ein Erdbeben geben könnte; to be frightened to do somethingAngst (davor) haben, etw zu tun; I was too frightened to lookich hatte zu viel Angst or war zu verängstigt, um hinzusehen; to be frightened about or of doing somethingAngst davor haben, etw zu tun; to be frightened to death or out of one’s witszu Tode erschrocken sein; to be frightened to death that…Todesängste ausstehen, dass …; to be frightened to death of somebody/somethingeine Todesangst vor jdm/etw haben; like a frightened rabbitwie ein verängstigtes Kaninchen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈfraɪtnd] adj to be frightened (of)avere paura (di)
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(frait) noun
1. a sudden fear. the noise gave me a terrible fright.
2. a person who looks ridiculous. She looks a fright in those clothes.
stage frightstageˈfrighten verb
to make (someone) afraid. She was frightened by a large dog.
ˈfrightened adjective
ˈfrightful adjective
1. terrible or frightening. I had a frightful experience.
2. very bad. He is a frightful liar.
ˈfrightening adjective
ˈfrightfully adverb
very. He's frightfully clever.
take fright
to become frightened usually suddenly and quickly. She took fright and ran away.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مَرْعُوب vystrašený skræmt verängstigt τρομαγμένος asustado pelästynyt effrayé prestrašen impaurito おびえた 겁먹은 bang skremt przestraszony assustado напуганный skrämd รู้สึกตกใจ korkmuş sợ hãi 受惊的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. asustado-a, atemorizado-a.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
And if it was really a ghost, it could do one no harm at such a distance, and in so much company; and yet if I was frightened, I am not the only person." "Why, who," cries Jones, "dost thou take to be such a coward here besides thyself?" "Nay, you may call me coward if you will; but if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life.
'What noise was that?' said the thief, frightened; 'I'm sure I heard someone speak.' They stood still listening, and Tom said, 'Take me with you, and I'll soon show you how to get the parson's money.' 'But where are you?' said they.
"You poor old soul," she said, suddenly remembering; "I frightened you in the other room."
She wrote again, and pointed toward the garden with one hand, while she held the slate up with the other: "Frightened of
"They are supposed," said Justice, the roan cob, in his calm way, "to prevent horses from shying and starting, and getting so frightened as to cause accidents."
Harriet looked white and frightened, and he was trying to cheer her.
Everything quite all right, and he began persuading her; and she should have kept him talking till cockcrow, but she got frightened, just got frightened and hid her face in her hands.
The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.
And she was so frightened he might try to come for all and get tore up by the dog and it was a bull-dog too that would never let go.
And oh, she was so frightened! And where was Julia Mills!
It was partly thinking o' you made me come toward Stoniton; and, besides, I was so frightened at going wandering about till I was a beggar-woman, and had nothing; and sometimes it seemed as if I must go back to the farm sooner than that.
Giles,' said a shorter man; who was by no means of a slim figure, and who was very pale in the face, and very polite: as frightened men frequently are.

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