fret

1
[ fret ]
/ frɛt /

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

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

noun

Origin of fret

1
before 900; Middle English freten, Old English fretan to eat up, consume; cognate with Old Saxon fretan, Gothic fraitan, Old High German frezzan (German fressen)

OTHER WORDS FROM fret

fret·ter, 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
1350–1400; Middle English frette < ?; compare Middle French frete trellis-work, Old English fretwian, variant of frætwian to adorn

OTHER WORDS FROM fret

fret·less, 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

OTHER WORDS FROM fret

fret·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fret

British Dictionary definitions for fret (1 of 4)

fret1
/ (frɛt) /

verb frets, fretting or fretted

noun

Word Origin for fret

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

Derived forms of fret

fretless, adjective

Word Origin for fret

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

Derived forms of fret

fretless, adjective

Word Origin for fret

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