(redirected from frightens)
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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.


vb (tr)
1. to cause fear in; terrify; scare
2. to drive or force to go (away, off, out, in, etc) by making afraid
ˈfrightened adj
ˈfrightening adj
ˈfrighteningly adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfraɪt n)

1. to make afraid or fearful; throw into a fright; terrify; scare.
2. to drive by scaring (usu. fol. by away, off, etc.): to frighten away pigeons from the roof.
3. to become frightened: a timid child who frightens easily.
fright′en•a•ble, adj.
fright′en•er, n.
fright′en•ing•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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


Past participle: frightened
Gerund: frightening

I frighten
you frighten
he/she/it frightens
we frighten
you frighten
they frighten
I frightened
you frightened
he/she/it frightened
we frightened
you frightened
they frightened
Present Continuous
I am frightening
you are frightening
he/she/it is frightening
we are frightening
you are frightening
they are frightening
Present Perfect
I have frightened
you have frightened
he/she/it has frightened
we have frightened
you have frightened
they have frightened
Past Continuous
I was frightening
you were frightening
he/she/it was frightening
we were frightening
you were frightening
they were frightening
Past Perfect
I had frightened
you had frightened
he/she/it had frightened
we had frightened
you had frightened
they had frightened
I will frighten
you will frighten
he/she/it will frighten
we will frighten
you will frighten
they will frighten
Future Perfect
I will have frightened
you will have frightened
he/she/it will have frightened
we will have frightened
you will have frightened
they will have frightened
Future Continuous
I will be frightening
you will be frightening
he/she/it will be frightening
we will be frightening
you will be frightening
they will be frightening
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been frightening
you have been frightening
he/she/it has been frightening
we have been frightening
you have been frightening
they have been frightening
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been frightening
you will have been frightening
he/she/it will have been frightening
we will have been frightening
you will have been frightening
they will have been frightening
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been frightening
you had been frightening
he/she/it had been frightening
we had been frightening
you had been frightening
they had been frightening
I would frighten
you would frighten
he/she/it would frighten
we would frighten
you would frighten
they would frighten
Past Conditional
I would have frightened
you would have frightened
he/she/it would have frightened
we would have frightened
you would have frightened
they would have frightened
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.frighten - cause fear infrighten - cause fear in; "The stranger who hangs around the building frightens me"; "Ghosts could never affright her"
bluff - frighten someone by pretending to be stronger than one really is
stimulate, stir, shake up, excite, shake - stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of; "These stories shook the community"; "the civil war shook the country"
awe - inspire awe in; "The famous professor awed the undergraduates"
terrify, terrorise, terrorize - fill with terror; frighten greatly
intimidate - make timid or fearful; "Her boss intimidates her"
alarm, horrify, appal, appall, dismay - fill with apprehension or alarm; cause to be unpleasantly surprised; "I was horrified at the thought of being late for my interview"; "The news of the executions horrified us"
consternate - fill with anxiety, dread, dismay, or confusion; "After the terrorist attack, people look consternated"
spook - frighten or scare, and often provoke into a violent action; "The noise spooked the horse"
daunt, frighten away, frighten off, scare away, scare off, pall, scare, dash - cause to lose courage; "dashed by the refusal"
2.frighten - drive out by frightening
chase away, dispel, drive away, drive off, drive out, run off, turn back - force to go away; used both with concrete and metaphoric meanings; "Drive away potential burglars"; "drive away bad thoughts"; "dispel doubts"; "The supermarket had to turn back many disappointed customers"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


verb scare, shock, alarm, terrify, cow, appal, startle, intimidate, dismay, daunt, unnerve, petrify, unman, terrorize, scare (someone) stiff, put the wind up (someone) (informal), scare the living daylights out of (someone) (informal), make your hair stand on end (informal), get the wind up, make your blood run cold, throw into a panic, scare the bejesus out of (informal), affright (archaic), freeze your blood, make (someone) jump out of his skin (informal), throw into a fright Most children are frightened by the sight of blood.
encourage, comfort, calm, reassure, soothe, hearten, allay, assuage
frighten something or someone off or away scare off, startle, put the wind up (someone) (informal), throw into a fright He fired into the air to frighten them off.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To fill with fear:
Archaic: fright.
Idioms: make one's blood run cold, make one's hair stand on end, scare silly, scare the daylights out of.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
خشّىيُرْعِبُيُرْعِب، يُذْعِر
gøre bangeskræmme
erschreckenAngst machen
겁을 주다
làm sợ hãi


[ˈfraɪtn] VTasustar
to be frightenedtener miedo (of a) don't be frightened!¡no te asustes!
she is easily frightenedse asusta con facilidad, es asustadiza
to frighten sb into doing sthconvencer a algn con amenazas de que haga algo
I was frightened out of my wits or to deathestaba aterrorizado
frighten away frighten off VT + ADVespantar, ahuyentar
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈfraɪtən] vteffrayer, faire peur à
Horror films frighten him → Les films d'horreur lui font peur.
to frighten sb into doing sth → faire faire qch à qn par l'intimidation
to frighten the life out of sb, to frighten the wits out of sb → faire une peur bleue à qn
frighten away
vt [+ birds, children] → faire fuir, effaroucher
frighten off
vt [+ people] → chasser
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


vt (= give a sudden fright)erschrecken, Angst einjagen (+dat); (= make scared)Angst machen (+dat), → Angst einjagen (+dat); (idea, thought)ängstigen, Angst or Furcht einflößen (+dat); I’m not easily frightenedich fürchte mich nicht so schnell, ich habe nicht so schnell Angst; (with threats etc) → so schnell or leicht kann man mir keine Angst machen; to be frightened by somethingvor etw (dat)erschrecken; to frighten somebody into agreeing to somethingjdm solche Angst machen, dass er/sie einer Sache (dat)zustimmt; to frighten the life out of somebodyjdn zu Tode erschrecken
vi she doesn’t frighten easilyso leicht fürchtet sie sich nicht; (with threats etc) → so schnell or leicht kann man ihr keine Angst machen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈfraɪtn] vtspaventare, far paura a
to frighten sb out of their wits → far morire qn dallo spavento
to be frightened of sth → avere paura di qc
he was frightened into doing it → l'ha fatto per paura
I was frightened to death → ero morto di paura
frighten away frighten off vt + adv (birds, children) → scacciare (facendogli paura)
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.


يُرْعِبُ děsit skræmme erschrecken τρομάζω asustar pelästyttää effrayer prestrašiti spaventare 怖がらせる 겁을 주다 bangmaken skremme przestraszyć assustar пугать skrämma ทำให้ตกใจ korkutmak làm sợ hãi 惊恐
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


vt asustar
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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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