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Noun attested around 1300, from Old Norse froða, from Proto-Germanic *fruþōn; Old English afreoðan (to froth) is from same Germanic root. Verb attested from late 14th century.[1]



froth (countable and uncountable, plural froths)

  1. foam
    Froth is a very important feature of many types of coffee.
    • 1749, John Cleland, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, Part 2
      He replaced her again breadthwise on the couch, unable to sit up, with her thighs open, between which I could observe a kind of white liquid, like froth, hanging about the outward lips of that recently opened wound, which now glowed with a deeper red.
  2. (figuratively) unimportant events or actions; drivel
    • L'Estrange
      It was a long speech, but all froth.
    Thousands of African children die each day: why do the newspapers continue to discuss unnecessary showbiz froth?

Derived terms[edit]



froth (third-person singular simple present froths, present participle frothing, simple past and past participle frothed)

  1. (transitive) To create froth in.
    I like to froth my coffee for ten seconds exactly.
  2. (intransitive) To bubble.
    The chemical frothed up when I added the acid.
  3. To spit, vent, or eject, as froth.
    • Dryden
      He [] froths treason at his mouth.
    • Tennyson
      Is your spleen frothed out, or have ye more?
  4. To cover with froth.
    A horse froths his chain.


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Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ froth” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).