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Middle English[edit]


From Old English fretan, from Proto-Germanic *fraetaną.



  1. To consume, to devour, to eat.
    • 1370–1390, William Langland, “Passus. xviii. de visione”, in Piers Plowman:
      At the bigynnyng God gaf the doom hymselve-- / That Adam and Eve and alle that hem suwede / Sholden deye downrighte, and dwelle in peyne after / If that thei touchede a tree and of the fruyt eten. / Adam afterward, ayeins his defence, / Freet of that fruyt, and forsook, as it were, / The love of Oure Lord and his loore bothe []
      At the beginning God gave the judgment himself / That Adam and Eve and all them that ensued, / Should die down right and dwell in pain after, / If that they touched a tree and the fruit ate, / Adam afterward against his warning / Ate of that fruit, and forsook, as it were, / The love of our Lord and his lore both, []


  • Scots: frete, freet
  • English: fret