Meaning of affright in English:


Pronunciation /əˈfrʌɪt/

See synonyms for affright on


[with object] archaic
  • Frighten (someone)

    ‘ghosts could never affright her’
    • ‘‘Oh my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!’’
    • ‘John was affrighted at the eager enjoyment - the appetite, as it were - with which he found himself inhaling the fragrance of the flowers.’
    • ‘But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.’
    • ‘Before him on the ground he felt the bundle which Sarah had fetched out of the house - his own knapsack and sketchbook - and affrighted, he stood upright again.’
    • ‘If these are not mischief enough to affright thee, I know not what thou art.’
    frightened, scared, scared stiff, terrified, fearful, petrified, nervous, scared to death


mass noun archaic
  • Fright.

    ‘the deer gazed at us in affright’
    • ‘The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman's exclamations of horror and affright, commingled with the fiendish jabberings of the brute.’
    • ‘No wonder the wolves start back in affright; no wonder the vultures, after stooping low, ply their wings in quick nervous stroke, and soar up again!’
    • ‘As she turned in affright she was confronted by a white man.’
    • ‘Then, tottering down to the parlour, with a voice hollow from affright, and a face pale as death, she tremulously articulated, 'where is my sister?'’
    • ‘Between him and the wife lies the young girl, who has fainted from affright.’


Late Middle English in early use from āfyrhted ‘frightened’ in Old English; later by vague form association with fright.