Origin of fresh

before 900; Middle English; Old English fersc; cognate with Old Frisian fersk, Old High German frisc (German frisch), Old Norse ferskr
Related formsfresh·ly, adverbfresh·ness, noun

Synonyms for fresh

1. recent. See new. 11. invigorating, sweet, unadulterated. 14. artless, untrained, raw, uncultivated, unskilled.

Antonyms for fresh

1. old. 14. skilled.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freshness

Contemporary Examples of freshness

Historical Examples of freshness

  • Their freshness soon withered, on account of the shallowness of the earth.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He was captivated by her freshness and beauty, her demureness, her ignorance of all things vicious.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The odor given off by the chicken is also an indication of freshness.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • However, too much attention cannot be paid to its freshness.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • How she hated her, with her youth and freshness, her wide eyes, her soft red lips!


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for freshness



not stale or deteriorated; newly made, harvested, etcfresh bread; fresh strawberries
newly acquired, created, found, etcfresh publications
novel; originala fresh outlook
latest; most recentfresh developments
further; additional; morefresh supplies
not canned, frozen, or otherwise preservedfresh fruit
(of water) not salt
bright or cleara fresh morning
chilly or invigoratinga fresh breeze
not tired; alert; refreshed
not worn or fadedfresh colours
having a healthy or ruddy appearance
newly or just arrived; straightfresh from the presses
youthful or inexperienced
mainly US designating a female farm animal, esp a cow, that has recently given birth
informal presumptuous or disrespectful; forward
Northern English dialect partially intoxicated; tipsy


the fresh part or time of something
another name for freshet


obsolete to make or become fresh; freshen


in a fresh manner; freshly
fresh out of informal having just run out of supplies of
Derived Formsfreshly, adverbfreshness, noun

Word Origin for fresh

Old English fersc fresh, unsalted; related to Old High German frisc, Old French freis, Old Norse ferskr
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 freshness



late 13c. "unsalted, pure, sweet, eager," metathesis of Old English fersc "unsalted," from West Germanic *friskaz (cf. Old Frisian fersk, Middle Dutch versch, Dutch vers, Old High German frisc, German frisch "fresh").

Probably cognate with Old Church Slavonic presinu "fresh," Lithuanian preskas "sweet." The metathesis, and the expanded Middle English senses of "new, pure, eager" are probably by influence of (or in some instances, from) Old French fres (fem. fresche), from Proto-Germanic *frisko-, and thus related to the English word. The Germanic root also is the source of Italian and Spanish fresco. Related: Freshly; freshness.



"impudent, presumptuous," 1848, U.S. slang, probably from German frech "insolent, cheeky," from Old High German freh "covetous," related to Old English frec "greedy, bold" (see freak (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with freshness


In addition to the idioms beginning with fresh

  • fresh as a daisy
  • fresh out of

also see:

  • breath of fresh air
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.