(third-person singular simple present frets, present participle fretting, simple past fretted, fret, freet or frate, past participle fretted or fretten (usually in compounds))
- Many wheals arose, and fretted one into another with great excoriation.
- (intransitive) To gnaw, consume, eat away.
- (intransitive) To be worn away; to chafe; to fray.
- A wristband frets on the edges.
- To cut through with fretsaw, create fretwork.
- To chafe or irritate; to worry.
- (intransitive) To worry or be anxious.
- To be vexed; to be chafed or irritated; to be angry; to utter peevish expressions.
- To make rough, agitate, or disturb; to cause to ripple.
- to fret the surface of water
- To be agitated; to be in violent commotion; to rankle.
- Rancour frets in the malignant breast.
- (music) To press down the string behind a fret.
- To ornament with raised work; to variegate; to diversify.
From Middle English freten, from Old English fretan (“to eat up, devour”), from Proto-Germanic *fraetaną (“to devour”), corresponding to for- + eat. Cognate with Dutch vreten, fretten (“to devour, hog, wolf”), Low German freten (“to eat up”), German fressen (“to devour, gobble up, guzzle”), Danish fråse (“to gorge”), Swedish fräta (“to eat away, corrode, fret”), Gothic (fraitan), - (fra-itan, “to devour”).
Middle English < Old French, from the verb freter, probably from the Latin frictō, frequentive of fricō (“I rub”). See friction.
From Latin fretum (“strait, channel”)