fret

1
[fret]
||

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)
Related formsfret·ter, noun

Synonyms for fret

fret

2
[fret]

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
Related formsfret·less, adjective

fret

3
[fret]

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


Examples from the Web for fretting

Contemporary Examples of fretting

Historical Examples of fretting

  • 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

    Hall Caine

  • "Fretting again, your Honour," said the man, in a half whisper.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for fretting

fret

1

verb frets, fretting or fretted

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

noun

a state of irritation or anxiety
the result of fretting; corrosion
a hole or channel caused by fretting

Word Origin for fret

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

fret

2

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 Formsfretless, adjective

Word Origin for fret

C14: from Old French frete interlaced design used on a shield, probably of Germanic origin

fret

3

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 Formsfretless, adjective

Word Origin for fret

C16: of unknown origin

fret

4

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

Word Origin and History for fretting

fret

v.

"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.

fret

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fretting in Medicine

fretting

[frĕtĭng]

n.

A hole, or worn or polished spot made on metals by abrasion or erosion.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.