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From Middle English, from Middle Dutch vracht or Middle Low German vracht ‎(freight money), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *fra- ‎(intensive prefix) + Proto-Germanic *aihtiz ‎(possession), from Proto-Indo-European *eik'- ‎(to possess). Cognate with Old High German frēht ‎(earnings), Old English ǣht ‎(owndom). More at for-, own.



fraught ‎(uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) The hire of a ship or boat to transport cargo.
  2. (obsolete) Money paid to hire a ship or boat to transport cargo; freight
    fraught money.
  3. (obsolete) The transportation of goods, especially in a ship or boat.
  4. (obsolete) A ship's cargo, lading or freight.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. (Scotland) A load; a burden.
  6. (Scotland) Two bucketfuls (of water).

Derived terms[edit]


fraught ‎(third-person singular simple present fraughts, present participle fraughting, simple past and past participle fraughted)

  1. (transitive, obsolete except in past participle) To load (a ship, cargo etc.).
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare
      Had I been any god of power, I would / Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er / It should the good ship so have swallow'd and / The fraughting souls within her.


fraught ‎(comparative more fraught, superlative most fraught)

  1. (of a cargo-carrier) Laden.
    • Shakespeare
      a vessel of our country richly fraught
  2. (with with) Furnished, equipped.
  3. (figuratively, with with) Loaded up, charged or accompanied.
    • South
      a discourse fraught with all the commending excellences of speech
    • I. Taylor
      enterprises fraught with world-wide benefits
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 236d.
      all these matters are fraught with paradox, just as they always have been
  4. Distressed.
    a fraught relationship