- The definition of frighten is to cause fear or to make someone afraid or anxious.
When you tell a child a very scary ghost story, this is an example of a situation where you frighten the child.
The image of a skull will frighten some people.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to cause to feel fright; make suddenly afraid; scare; terrify
- to force (away, out, or off) or bring (into a specified condition) by making afraid: to frighten someone into confessing
- frighteningly adverb
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb fright·ened, fright·en·ing, fright·ens verb, transitive
- To fill with fear; alarm.
- To drive or force by arousing fear: The suspect was frightened into confessing.
- frightˈen·er noun
- frightˈen·ing·ly adverb