Dictionary.com

fret

1
[ fret ]
/ frɛt /
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See synonyms for: fret / fretted / fretting / fretter on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), fret·ted, fret·ting.

verb (used with object), fret·ted, fret·ting.

noun

an irritated state of mind; annoyance; vexation.
Now Rare.
  1. a wearing away; erosion; corrosion.
  2. a worn or eroded place.

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Origin of fret

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English freten, freoten, vreten “to eat up, consume greedily, devour,” Old English fretan “to eat up, consume, devour”; cognate with Old Saxon fretan, Gothic fra-itan, Old High German frezzan (German fressen “to feed, devour”), from Germanic fra-etan, equivalent to fra- for- + etan eat
fretter, noun

Definition for fret (2 of 3)

fret2
[ fret ]
/ frɛt /

noun

an interlaced, angular design; fretwork.
an angular design of bands within a border.
Heraldry. a charge composed of two diagonal strips interlacing with and crossing at the center of a mascle.
a piece of decoratively pierced work placed in a clock case to deaden the sound of the mechanism.

verb (used with object), fret·ted, fret·ting.

to ornament with a fret or fretwork.

Origin of fret

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English fret, frette, probably from Old French frete “trelliswork,” possibly from a Germanic source; compare Old English frættewian, frætwian, fretwian “to adorn, embroider, trim”
fretless, adjective

Definition for fret (3 of 3)

fret3
[ fret ]
/ frɛt /

noun

any of the ridges of wood, metal, or string, set across the fingerboard of a guitar, lute, or similar instrument, which help the fingers to stop the strings at the correct points.

verb (used with object), fret·ted, fret·ting.

to provide with frets.

Origin of fret

3
First recorded in 1490–1500; origin uncertain
fretless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for fret (1 of 4)

fret1
/ (frɛt) /

verb frets, fretting or fretted

noun

Old English fretan to eat; related to Old High German frezzan, Gothic fraitan, Latin peredere

British Dictionary definitions for fret (2 of 4)

fret2
/ (frɛt) /

noun

a repetitive geometrical figure, esp one used as an ornamental border
such a pattern made in relief and with numerous small openings; fretwork
heraldry a charge on a shield consisting of a mascle crossed by a saltire

verb frets, fretting or fretted

(tr) to ornament with fret or fretwork
fretless, adjective
C14: from Old French frete interlaced design used on a shield, probably of Germanic origin

British Dictionary definitions for fret (3 of 4)

fret3
/ (frɛt) /

noun

any of several small metal bars set across the fingerboard of a musical instrument of the lute, guitar, or viol family at various points along its length so as to produce the desired notes when the strings are stopped by the fingers
fretless, adjective
C16: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for fret (4 of 4)

fret4
/ (frɛt) /

noun

short for sea fret
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
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