- to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent, or the like: Fretting about the lost ring isn't going to help.
- to cause corrosion; gnaw into something: acids that fret at the strongest metals.
- to make a way by gnawing, corrosion, wearing away, etc.: The river frets at its banks until a new channel is formed.
- to become eaten, worn, or corroded (often followed by away): Limestone slowly frets away under pounding by the wind and rain.
- to move in agitation or commotion, as water: water fretting over the stones of a brook.
- to torment; irritate, annoy, or vex: You mustn't fret yourself about that.
- to wear away or consume by gnawing, friction, rust, corrosives, etc.: the ocean fretting its shores.
- to form or make by wearing away a substance: The river had fretted an underground passage.
- to agitate (water): Strong winds were fretting the channel.
- an irritated state of mind; annoyance; vexation.
- erosion; corrosion; gnawing.
- a worn or eroded place.
Origin of fret1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for fret on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
- to ornament with a fret or fretwork.
Origin of fret2
- 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.
- to provide with frets.
Origin of fret3
Examples from the Web for fretting
For more than a century, Americans have been fretting about these sorts of ghosts.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
Certainly, other communities—ultra-Orthodox Jews, for example—are fretting about members who go online, and then astray.God vs. the Internet. And the Winner is…
November 16, 2014
Now, as it turns out, men are fretting about their closing window to meet someone and have kids.High Manxiety: Thirtysomething Men Are The New Neurotic Singles
May 4, 2014
Not because I was fretting about how this might affect the product on the court.Guns, Blow Jobs, and Choke Holds: a History of the New York Knicks
February 26, 2014
He then counseled me not to use up my “remaining days” fretting over Mia.The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast
Robert B. Weide
January 27, 2014
Mr. Galloway was fuming and fretting at the non-arrival of his clerk, Mr. Jenkins.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Give him a touch with the rope's-end, Jem, if ever you do observe him fretting.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sam was forward, keeping a lookout and fretting at the delay.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
Two years passed, and at eighteen she was fretting that half her life had wasted away.The Christian
"Fretting again, your Honour," said the man, in a half whisper.The Manxman
- to distress or be distressed; worry
- to rub or wear away
- to irritate or be irritated; feel or give annoyance or vexation
- to eat away or be eaten away by chemical action; corrode
- (intr) (of a road surface) to become loose so that potholes develop; scab
- to agitate (water) or (of water) to be agitated
- (tr) to make by wearing away; erode
- a state of irritation or anxiety
- the result of fretting; corrosion
- a hole or channel caused by fretting
- 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
- (tr) to ornament with fret or fretwork
- 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
- short for sea fret
Word Origin and History for fretting
"be peevish or worried," early 12c., from Old English fretan "eat, devour" (in Old English used of monsters and Vikings; in Middle English used of animals' eating), from Proto-Germanic compound *fra- "for-" + *etan "to eat" (cf. Dutch vreton, Old High German freggan, German fressen, Gothic fraitan). Transitive sense of "eat away" is from late 12c. Figurative sense of "irritate, worry, eat one's heart out" is c.1200. Modern German still distinguishes essen for humans and fressen for animals. Related: Fretted; fretting. As a noun, from early 15c.
"ornamental interlaced pattern," late 14c., from Old French frete "interlaced work, trellis work," probably from Frankish *fetur or another Germanic source (cf. Old English fetor, Old High German feggara "fetter") perhaps from notion of "decorative anklet," or of materials "bound" together. The other noun, "ridge on the fingerboard of a guitar," is c.1500 of unknown origin but possibly another sense of Old French frete.
- A hole, or worn or polished spot made on metals by abrasion or erosion.