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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Affright \Af*fright"\, p. a. Affrighted. [Obs.]


Affright \Af*fright"\, n.

  1. Sudden and great fear; terror. It expresses a stronger impression than fear, or apprehension, perhaps less than terror.

    He looks behind him with affright, and forward with despair.

  2. The act of frightening; also, a cause of terror; an object of dread.
    --B. Jonson.


Affright \Af*fright"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Affrighted; p. pr. & vb. n. Affrighting.] [Orig. p. p.; OE. afright, AS. [=a]fyrhtan to terrify; [=a]- (cf. Goth. us-, Ger. er-, orig. meaning out) + fyrhto fright. See Fright.] To impress with sudden fear; to frighten; to alarm.

Dreams affright our souls.

A drear and dying sound Affrights the flamens at their service quaint.

Syn: To terrify; frighten; alarm; dismay; appall; scare; startle; daunt; intimidate.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1580s, a late construction from a- (1) + fright (v.), probably on model of earlier past participle adjective affright "struck with sudden fear" (metathesized from Old English afyrht). Related: Affrighted; affrighting.


n. great fear, terror, fright vb. to terrify, to frighten, to inspire fright


v. cause fear in; "The stranger who hangs around the building frightens me" [syn: frighten, fright, scare]

Usage examples of "affright".

But when he perceived the situation into which distress and affright had driven her, and saw her sobbing over the child, whom she still held confined, with an idea of hiding him from Eugenia, he was instantly sensible of the danger of her joining her little sister.

Or can any carnal appetite so overpower your reason, or so totally lay it asleep, as to prevent your flying with affright and terror from a crime which carries such punishment always with it?

I did not lose my being, as my father for a while did, my senses were however so overpowered with affright and surprize, that I am a stranger to what passed during some minutes, and indeed till my father had again recovered from his swoon, and I found myself in his arms, both tenderly embracing each other, while the tears trickled a-pace down the cheeks of each of us.

Daughter of Jove, relentless power, Thou tamer of the human breast, Whose iron scourge and torturing hour The bad affright, afflict the best!

But wild with affright, or shuddering with horrour, she passed without hearing or observing him.

And they shrunk with affright from his ugly sight, Whose work they delighted to do.

At last, his breathing became: quick and oppressed, and, after listening to it for some minutes with increasing affright, Ruth ventured to awaken him.

EPICUREAN SONG Away with your stories of Hades, Which the Flamen has forged to affright us-- We laugh at your three Maiden Ladies, Your Fates--and your sullen Cocytus.

The armorers worked in shifts through the day and night, repairing armor, sharpening swords, making the turnip-shaped arrowheads that screamed so dreadfully to affright an enemy.

In part of a Table booke he writ his mind to them at the Fort, what was intended, how they should follow that direction to affright the messengers, and without fayle send him such things as he writ for.

But lest the toils of the new settlement should affright his readers, our author draws an idyllic picture of the simple pleasures which nature and liberty afford here freely, but which cost so dearly in England.

Just then my eye was caught by the pragmatical old gentleman in the Greek grizzled wig, who was scrambling away in sore affright with half a score of authors in full cry after him.

He then sent two more, one of whom, hurrying back in confusion and affright, told him that the whole British army was at hand.

Yet, when at last the expected step drew near, she shuddered, trembled, and turned pale with affright, and, starting to her feet, looked this way and that with a wild impulse to flee: then, as the door opened, she dropped into her chair again, and covered her face with her shaking hands.

English with affright, in all those towns where there was still sufficient population to feel the change.