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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for affrighted

fright, intimidate, alarm, startle, spook, daunt, panic, scare, terrify

Examples from the Web for affrighted

Historical Examples of affrighted

  • He paused, while Margaret and Peter stared at each other affrighted.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Her soul was affrighted by the curse that had been hurled upon it.

  • At that instant Drayton's eyes were riveted on the skylight with an affrighted stare.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • A thunderbolt had fallen at Mychowski's feet and he was affrighted.


    James Huneker

  • And the visitors gazed at each other in startled, affrighted silence.

    A Great Man

    Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for affrighted


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

Word Origin for affright

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 affrighted



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