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Etymology 1[edit]

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


affright (plural affrights)

  1. (archaic) Great fear, terror, fright.


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

  1. (archaic, transitive) To terrify, to frighten, to inspire fright in.
    • William Shakespeare
      Dreams affright our souls.
    • Milton
      A drear and dying sound / Affrights the flamens at their service quaint.

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.