verb (used with object)

to frighten.


sudden fear or terror; fright.
a source of terror.
the act of terrifying.

Nearby words

  1. affreight,
  2. affreightment,
  3. affricate,
  4. affrication,
  5. affricative,
  6. affront,
  7. affrontive,
  8. afft.,
  9. affusion,
  10. afg

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for affrighted

British Dictionary definitions for affrighted



(tr) to frighten


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