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affright

[uh-frahyt]Archaic.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to frighten.
noun
  1. sudden fear or terror; fright.
  2. a source of terror.
  3. the act of terrifying.

Origin of affright

before 1000; Middle English afrighten, Old English āfyrhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + fyrhtan to fright
Related formsself-af·fright·ed, adjectiveun·af·fright·ed, adjectiveun·af·fright·ed·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for affright

Historical Examples

  • In a swerve he almost stopped, every muscle of his big body trembling in affright.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Polly lingered near, affright in her heart, Oh, if her father were only there!

  • Her eyes roved to Garnache's, and fell away in affright before their glitter.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Blood and wounds, Master Joseph, think you to affright me with words?

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He groaned aloud unconsciously and started with affright at the sound of his own voice.

    Almayer's Folly

    Joseph Conrad


British Dictionary definitions for affright

affright

verb
  1. (tr) to frighten
noun
  1. a sudden terror

Word Origin

Old English āfyrhtan, from a-, a prefix indicating the beginning or end of an action + fyrhtan to fright
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for affright

v.

1580s, a late construction from a- (1) + fright (v.), probably on model of earlier past participle adjective affright "struck with sudden fear" (metathesized from Old English afyrht). Related: Affrighted; affrighting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper