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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.


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.
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"


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.
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.


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


[ˈfraɪtnd] adj to be frightened (of)avere paura (di)


(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.


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


a. asustado-a, atemorizado-a.
References in classic literature ?
I used to be so frightened when it was my turn to sit in the chair with the crown on, and see you all come marching round to give the presents, with a kiss.
Wing Biddlebaum, forever frightened and beset by a ghostly band of doubts, did not think of himself as in any way a part of the life of the town where he had lived for twenty years.
Fortunately the earthquake had not involved that portion where they had left their mules, but most of the frightened animals had broken loose, and it was some little time before they could all be caught.
I don't remember whether I was frightened or pleased.
If I should go back to him, the cunning varmint would suspect something, and be dodging through the trees like a frightened deer.
This same slighted, forgotten, uncomprehended, but still foolish and forgiving Nature seemed to be bending over her frightened and listening ear with vague but thrilling murmurings of freedom and independence.
Then, as he wended his way by swamp and stream and awful woodland, to the farmhouse where he happened to be quartered, every sound of nature, at that witching hour, fluttered his excited imagination, --the moan of the whip-poor-will from the hillside, the boding cry of the tree toad, that harbinger of storm, the dreary hooting of the screech owl, to the sudden rustling in the thicket of birds frightened from their roost.
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.
Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat down, leaned her head on her husband's shoulder, and burst into tears.
Harriet looked white and frightened, and he was trying to cheer her.
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.
You have only frightened us -you have told us nothing.

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