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  • IPA(key): /əˈfɹaɪt/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English afrighten, from Old English āfyrhtan, equivalent to a- +‎ fright.


affright (countable and uncountable, plural affrights)

  1. (archaic) Great fear, terror, fright.
    • 1854, The Mysteries of a Convent, page 107:
      No one for a moment dreamed of the possible occurrence of any thing in the course of a few hours which would fill every mind with horror, and cause even the dark-hearted Martina to tremble with affright.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 563:
      [] Then behold, there came up to us a huge fish, as big as a tall mountain, at whose sight we became wild for affright and, weeping sore, made ready for death, marvelling at its vast size and gruesome semblance; when lo! a second fish made its appearance than which we had seen naught more monstrous.


affright (third-person singular simple present affrights, present participle affrighting, simple past and past participle affrighted)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To inspire fright in; to frighten, to terrify.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:frighten
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English afright, from Old English āfyrht (terrified; afraid), past participle of āfyrhtan (to terrify; make afraid).

Alternative forms[edit]


affright (comparative more affright, superlative most affright)

  1. afraid; terrified; frightened
    • 1641, The Whole Booke of Psalmes:
      So that thou shalt not need I say, to feare or be affright, of all the shafts that Hie by day, nor terrours of the night.
    • 1856, Mrs. S. C. Hall, Popular tales and sketches, page 29:
      “Do not be afright,” he continued, after a pause; “do not be afright, my dear young ladies, I am quite harmless—a harmless old man—I would not shed a pigeon's blood.