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affright

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

Related Words

frightintimidatealarmstartlespookdauntpanicscareterrify

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
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noun
  1. a sudden terror
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper