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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fresch, fersch, from Old English fersc (fresh, pure, sweet), from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (fresh), from Proto-Indo-European *preisk- (fresh). Cognate with Scots fresch (fresh), West Frisian farsk (fresh), Dutch vers (fresh), Walloon frexh (fresh), German frisch (fresh), French frais (fresh), Danish frisk (fresh), fersk, Icelandic ferskur (fresh), Lithuanian prėskas (unflavoured, tasteless, fresh), Russian пресный (pr'ésnyj, sweet, fresh, unleavened, tasteless).


fresh (comparative fresher, superlative freshest)

  1. Newly produced or obtained.
    He followed the fresh hoofprints to find the deer.
    I seem to make fresh mistakes every time I start writing.
  2. Not cooked, dried, frozen, or spoiled.
    After taking a beating in the boxing ring, the left side of his face looked like fresh meat.
    I brought home from the market a nice bunch of fresh spinach leaves straight from the farm.
    a glass of fresh milk
  3. (of plant material) Still green and not dried.
    • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page vii
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get []
  4. Refreshing or cool.
    What a nice fresh breeze.
  5. (of water) Without salt; not saline.
    After a day at sea it was good to feel the fresh water of the stream.
    • a. 1628, Sir Francis Drake (?), The World Encompassed, Nicholas Bourne (publisher, 1628), page 49:
      There we made our ſhip faſt with foure ropes, in ſmooth water, and the freſh water ranne downe out of the hill into the ſea, []
    • 1820, William Scoresby, An Account of the Arctic Regions, Archibald Constable & Co., page 230:
      When dissolved, it produces water sometimes perfectly fresh, and sometimes saltish; []
    • 2009, Adele Pillitteri, Maternal and Child Health Nursing, Sixth Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 9781582559995, page 1557:
      Additional changes that occur when water enters the lungs depend on whether the water is fresh or salt.
  6. Rested; not tired or fatigued.
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, BBC:
      Before the match, Hodgson had expressed the hope that his players would be fresh rather than rusty after an 18-day break from league commitments because of two successive postponements.
  7. In a raw or untried state; uncultured; unpracticed.
    a fresh hand on a ship
  8. youthful; florid
    • Shakespeare
      these fresh nymphs
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


fresh (plural freshes)

  1. A rush of water, along a river or onto the land; a flood.
    • 1834, David Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (Nebraska, 1987), page 21:
      They went on very well with their work until it was nigh done, when there came the second epistle to Noah's fresh, and away went their mill, shot, lock, and barrel.
  2. A stream or spring of fresh water.
    • Shakespeare
      He shall drink naught but brine; for I'll not show him / Where the quick freshes are.
  3. The mingling of fresh water with salt in rivers or bays, as by means of a flood of fresh water flowing toward or into the sea.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beverly to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

1848, US slang, probably from German frech (impudent, cheeky, insolent), from Middle High German vrech (bold, brave, lively), from Old High German freh (greedy, eager, avaricious, covetous), from Proto-Germanic *frekaz (greedy, outrageous, courageous, capable, active), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pereg- (to be quick, twitch, sprinkle, splash). Cognate with Old English frec (greedy; eager, bold, daring; dangerous). More at freak.


fresh (comparative fresher, superlative freshest)

  1. Rude, cheeky, or inappropriate; presumptuous; disrespectful; forward.
    No one liked his fresh comments.
  2. Sexually aggressive or forward; prone to caress too eagerly; overly flirtatious.
    Hey, don't get fresh with me!
Derived terms[edit]