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  • IPA(key): /fɹɛʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛʃ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fressh, from Old English fersċ (fresh, pure, sweet), from Proto-West Germanic *frisk (fresh), from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (fresh), from Proto-Indo-European *preysk- (fresh).

Cognate with Scots fresch (fresh), West Frisian farsk (fresh), Dutch vers (fresh), Walloon frexh (fresh), German frisch (fresh), French frais (fresh), Norwegian and Danish frisk (fresh), fersk, Icelandic ferskur (fresh), Lithuanian prėskas (unflavoured, tasteless, fresh), Russian пре́сный (présnyj, sweet, fresh, unleavened, tasteless). Doublet of fresco.

Slang sense possibly shortened form of “fresh out the pack”, 1980s routine by Grand Wizzard Theodore.[1] [2]


fresh (comparative fresher, superlative freshest)

  1. Newly produced or obtained; recent.
    He followed the fresh hoofprints to find the deer.
    I seem to make fresh mistakes every time I start writing.
    With his recent divorce still fresh in his mind, he was unable to concentrate on his work.
  2. (of food) Not dried, frozen, or spoiled.
    Antonym: stale
    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[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, 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. Invigoratingly cool and refreshing.
    Synonym: cool
    What a nice fresh breeze.
  5. (of water) Without salt; not saline.
    Antonym: 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, 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.
    Synonym: rested
    Antonym: tired
    • 2010 December 29, Sam Sheringham, “Liverpool 0 - 1 Wolverhampton”, in BBC[2]:
      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.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:inexperienced
    a fresh hand on a ship
  8. Youthful; florid.
  9. (slang) Good, fashionable.
    Synonyms: cool, fashionable
    a fresh pair of sneakers
    • 1984, “Fresh”, in Emergency, performed by Kool & the Gang:
      I've been thinking about the way you walk
      Baby ooh I like the way you talk
      Tell you something I really can't hide
      Heaven must have sent you to be by my side
      Fresh and lovely fresh like a dream come true
      I'll give anything to spend the night with you
    • 1988, “Supersonic”, performed by J. J. Fad:
      Because my devastating beats I know you will like / You see my beat box is fresh, it'll blow your mind
  10. (archaic, slang) Tipsy; drunk.
    • 1840, Parliamentary Papers, volume 9, page 43:
      How long did Mr. Crisp stay with you?—He might have stayed two hours; he stayed some time after; he drank ale and got fresh.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


fresh (not comparable)

  1. recently; just recently; most recently
    We are fresh out of milk.
    • 2017 July 16, Brandon Nowalk, “Chickens and dragons come home to roost on Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[3]:
      Hell of a surprise in the seventh season premiere of Game Of Thrones. Arya Stark, fresh off a nigh Cersei-level ambush of the Frey household, comes upon a small campfire surrounded by fresh-faced red cloaks.


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, published 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.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
      [] And take his bottle from him. / When that's gone, / 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.
    • 1705, Robert Beverley, Jr., History and Present State of Virginia:
      When they cross any great Water, or violent Fresh, or Torrent, they throw Tobacco, Puccoon, Peak, or some other valuable thing, that they happen to have about there, to intreat the Spirit presiding there, to grant them a safe passage. It is call'd a Fresh, when after very great Rains, or (as we suppose) after a great Thaw of the Snow and Ice lying upon the Mountains Page 43 to the North West, the Water descends, in such abundance into the Rivers, that they overflow the Banks which bound their Streams at other times.


fresh (third-person singular simple present freshes, present participle freshing, simple past and past participle freshed)

  1. (commercial fishing) To pack (fish) loosely on ice.
    • 1921, Commonwealth Shipping Committee, Report - Volume 12:
      With the exception of about 1800 crans which were "rough packed," all the herrings landed during the winter months were freshed and kippered.
    • 1960, Nigel Nicolson, Lord of the Isles: Lord Leverhulme of the Hebrides, page 84:
      Aided by government propaganda, herring became an important British war-time food, not pickled, but 'freshed' (packed loosely in ice) and kippered.
    • 1971, Eiichi Tanikawa, Marine Products in Japan: Size, Technology and Research, page 189:
      Smoked abalone is prepared by smoking the salted and freshed abalone, the smoked meat is packed with vegetable oil.
  2. To flood or dilute an area of salt water with flowing fresh water.
    • 1974, Bilješke - Volumes 31-76, page 1:
      Our first assumption was that freshed sea water areas were favourable for these organisms.
    • 1977, India. Parliament. House of the People, India. Parliament. Lok Sabha, Lok Sabha Debates, page 226:
      Under the present river conditions, headwater discharge of 40,000 cusecs will be necessary during the non-freshed season to neutralise the landward drift of sediments throughout the tidal portion of the river.
    • 1987, Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites, →ISBN, page 69:
      But as the golden light flowed slowly across the Discworld like the first freshing of the tide over mudflats the eagle circled higher into the dome of heaven, beating the air down with slow and powerful wingbeats.
    • 1989, Tseng-chʻüan Li, Fa-erh Chiang, Shu Sun, Developments in geoscience, page 325:
      The salinity is variated, and locally the lake water is freshed in a step manner.
  3. (of wind) To become stronger.
    • 1815, William Williams, The Journal of Llewellin Penrose, a Seaman:
      Horrible was now my condition, as the wind freshed up more and more.
    • 1834, Frederick Marryat, The naval officer, page 259:
      I should have observed, that as we rounded the north-east point, the breeze freshed, and the squalls came heavy out of the gullies and deep ravines.
    • 1850, William Reid, An Attempt to Develop the Law of Storms by Means of Facts:
      On the afternoon of the 20th, at the period the storm was very severe to the south-west of her, the Barlow experienced calms and variable winds. By noon on the 21st, the wind freshed, with the weather cloudy.
  4. To rebore the barrel of a rifle or shotgun.
    • 1910, Hunter-trader-trapper - Volume 19, Issue 6, page 92:
      When the barrel became very rough the gun was taken to the local gunsmith and "freshed."
    • 1974, George C. Nonte, Home guide to muzzle-loaders, →ISBN, page 132:
      There is also the oft-heard plaint that "modern steel barrels can't be re-rifled or freshed out."
  5. To update.
    • 1822, Alexander Reid, Life of ―, a scotish govenanter, page 7:
      Thus the liberties of the nation, civil and religious, were laid freshed by his preaching, and. more and more confirmed in the presbyterian principles: and we likewise resorted for a time at West Calder kirk, to Mr. Patrick Shiels, by whose preaching I was yet more confirmed in the presbyterian way.
    • 1885, Chinese Recorder - Volume 16, page 419:
      We need not assume that the famous village was considered the capital of the country spoken of; it is sufficient to know that the priests who freshed up the old Ta-ts'in lore in China, were proud of having been themselves born in the Holy Land; and if we consider the precedent set in the very T'ang-shu, where the whole of India is designated by the name of Buddha's birth place, Magadha, we need not be astonished to see the name of what they must have considered the spiritual capital of the Christian world applied to the country they came from.
    • 2000, Robert Van Voorst, Craig A. Evans, Bruce Chilton, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, →ISBN, page 122:
      The strongest judgment against the Toledot Yeshu was made by Solomon Schechter in 1898, "All the so-called Anti-Christiana collected by medieval [Jewish] fanatics, and freshed up again by modern ignoramuses, belong to the later centuries, when history and biography had already given way to myth and speculation."
  6. To freshen up.
    • 1943, Maggie Jeanne Melody Wadelton, Maggie No Doubt, page 132:
      I freshed meself and followed after him and made choice of me dinner.
    • 2009, Robert Jordan, The Great Hunt, →ISBN:
      There was no need for them all to be there—most would be resting in their rooms, freshing from the journey—but she was on edge now, all the questions she could not ask running through her head.
    • 2012, Mz. K., First Lady: A Hood Tale, →ISBN, page 116:
      We played and adored our boys, we watched a little television until about six, I got a shower and put my clothes back on I got the boys freshed up while Aj was in the shower and he got dressed.
  7. To renew.
    • 1884, United States Congressional Serial Set - Volume 2178, page 503:
      Q. Did you tell anybody this tale that you heard this man threaten what they were going to do?—A. No, sir; I didn't say nothing to anybody until Monday—Monday or Tuesday, one—then my mind was freshed.
    • 1902, Walter De la Mare, Dorothy Pulis Lathrop, Down-adown-derry: A Book of Fairy Poems, →ISBN:
      In the nook of a wood where a pool freshed with dew Glassed, daybreak till evening, blue sky glimpsing through Then a star; or a slip of May-moon silver-white, Thridding softly aloof the quiet of night, Was a thicket of flowers.
    • 1918, The Indian Forest Records - Volume 6, Parts 1-6, page 316:
      About a month later, the blaze is freshed by cutting off a thin shaving of bark all round the stem, over half the depth of the old blaze and taking in 2 inches of new bark on the upper edge of the original wound.
  8. (of a dairy cow) to give birth to a calf.
    • 1940, James Frank Kendrick, The cow tester's manual, page 23:
      A cow was actually tested twice a month on the 5th and 25th of each month. The cow freshed December 15, her milk was good December 18, and she went dry October 30.
    • 1946, Co-op News – Volumes 20-21, page 3:
      Fall Freshed Cows Produce More Milk.
    • 2009, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, →ISBN, page 56:
      On the day of my visit, Mary greets me at my car with a delighted look on her face. “You're just in time!” she says eagerly. “A cow has just 'freshed'!”


  1. ^ Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor, editors (2013), The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 2nd ed.[1], Routledge, page 914
  2. ^ “Can I Get A Soul Clapp”, performed by Grand Wizard Theodore & The Fantastic 5, 1982:
    Young ladies (and all you gentlemen!)
    This is original rap from start (to the end!)
    We're fresh out the pack
    So you gotta stay back
    We got one Puerto Rican
    And the rest are black

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-West Germanic *frek, from Proto-Germanic *frekaz (greedy, outrageous, courageous, capable, active), from Proto-Indo-European *preg- (to be quick, twitch, sprinkle, splash).

Cognate with Old English frec (greedy; eager, bold, daring; dangerous) and Danish fræk (naughty). 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!
    • 1906 April, O. Henry [pseudonym; William Sydney Porter], “The Brief Début Of Tildy”, in The Four Million, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co, →OCLC, page 256:
      Fresh guy,” explained Aileen, “last night as I was going home at Twenty-third and Sixth. Sashayed up, so he did, and made a break. I turned him down, cold, and he made a sneak; []
    • 1920 April 10 – August 28, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, chapter 11, in The Little Warrior [Jill the Reckless], New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 8 October 1920, →OCLC, section 1, page 194:
      … He got on Forty-second Street, and he was kinda fresh from the start. At Sixty-sixth he came sasshaying[sic] right down the car and said ‘Hello, patootie!’ Well, I drew myself up …
Derived terms[edit]