The Meaning of Fraught: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of fraught? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word fraught, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word fraught mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as other dictionaries like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word fraught is an adjective that means full of or accompanied by something specific. This can also mean characterized by tension or emotional distress, or archaically, laden. Chiefly in Scotland, the word fraught can be used as a noun or transitive verb to refer to loading cargo, the hire of a ship, or the lading of a ship for the transportation of goods.

Many different languages also use words that mean fraught. You may notice that some of these words look similar to one another. This is probably due to the fact that they share a common origin. Oftentimes, words that have a shared root language such as Latin or Greek will look, sound, and mean similar things. These are called cognates. This list of translations for the word fraught is provided by Word Sense

  •  Dutch: beladen‎, vol‎
  •  Persian: آکنده‎ (âkande)
  •  Bulgarian: изпълнен‎
  •  Italian: gravido‎ (masc.), pieno‎ (masc.), carico‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: مَمْلُوء‎
  •  Norwegian: full‎
  •  German: voll‎
  •  Turkish: dolu‎
  •  Russian: по́лный‎, преиспо́лненный‎, чрева́тый‎
  •  Finnish: -täyteinen‎
  •  Swedish: full‎, hell‎
  •  Greek: γεμάτος‎ (masc.), φορτωμένος‎ (masc.), πλήρης‎ (masc.)

How can the word fraught be used in a sentence?

The word fraught can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. Below are many examples for fraught.

The hormonal teen boys were in a fraught situation filled with passion regarding the girl they all had a crush on. 

The fraught mother-daughter relationship frequently involved screaming matches, sighs, discouragement, and depression. Such fraught situations made Dan, Sarah, and the rest of the siblings miserable. 

Unfortunately, the merits of the show did not overcome its low earnings. The cast members were fraught with disappointment when they discovered they had been canceled. 

In the recent year, the student at Princeton University became fraught with the burden of pain and anxiety about illness, exams and quizzes. 

The discourse between the racial group and the police senior officers was fraught with tension. 

The fraught country was divided on many political issues. Each party wanted absolute possession of the country’s government, and would not focus on the world-wide benefits.

The scam artists made a fraught proposition about the reward, making the people believe they had found the missing person.

Zuwaya had a fraught relationship with her sisters Ajdabiya and Magharba, which was amplified when their mother was admitted to Brompton Hospital. 

The informal showing of the book was fraught with copyright issues, to the dismay of Random House and Harpercollins Publishers.

Lowell’s humour had a tendency to create fraught situations. He thought his dark humor was funny, but people tended to find it offensive.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word fraught?

There are many different words that someone can use in place of the word fraught. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are looking to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word fraught is provided by Thesaurus

  •  stuffed
  •  abounding
  •  chock-full
  •  sated
  •  chockablock
  •  glutted
  •  teeming
  •  voluminous
  •  entire
  •  suffused
  •  plentiful
  •  charged
  •  loaded
  •  jammed full
  •  burdened
  •  padded
  •  satiated
  •  running over
  •  satisfied
  •  bursting
  •  laden
  •  crowded
  •  brimful
  •  extravagant
  •  packed like sardines
  •  big
  •  full of
  •  adequate
  •  complete
  •  intact
  •  awash
  •  abundant
  •  impregnated
  •  jammed
  •  attended
  •  competent
  •  plethoric
  •  replete
  •  heavy
  •  stocked
  •  filled
  •  saturated
  •  bristling
  •  sufficient
  •  overflowing
  •  plenteous
  •  packed
  •  surfeited
  •  gorged
  •  weighted
  •  profuse
  •  crammed
  •  jam-packed
  •  lavish
  •  bounteous
  •  imbued

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning of the word fraught. These are known as antonyms, and are also useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word fraught is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  blank
  •  evacuated
  •  abandoned
  •  unfurnished
  •  dry
  •  unfilled
  •  desolate
  •  hollow
  •  depleted
  •  bare
  •  unoccupied
  •  clear
  •  dead
  •  vacated
  •  wanting
  •  desert
  •  uninhabited
  •  lacking
  •  exhausted
  •  void
  •  vacant
  •  barren
  •  empty
  •  deflated
  •  vacuous
  •  waste
  •  despoiled
  •  forsaken
  •  destitute
  •  deserted
  •  devoid
  •  stark
  •  godforsaken

What is the origin of the word fraught?

According to Etymonline, the word fraught has been used since the late 14th century to refer to a vessel laden with supplies as the Old English ǣht. This has been used for figurative use since the early 15c. This is a past participle adjective formed from the present participle of the obsolete verb fraught meaning to load a ship with cargo, related to an older form of freight. This comes from the Middle English fraughten, an early 13c word that comes from the noun fraught, meaning a load of cargo for a ship. This was an early 13th century word, which was the older form of the word freight. This comes from a North Sea Germanic source, the Old High German frēht, that also bore the Middle Dutch vracht and Middle Dutch vrecht, as well as similar words in Middle Low German vracht and Frisian fraght/fragt/frakt. This is from the Proto-Germanic fra-aihtiz meaning property, from the root fra and the root aigan meaning to possess, from the Proto-Indo-European  root aik, meaning to be master of. Related words include fraughtage and fright. 

Overall, the word fraught means indicative of distress or having some emotional affliction. Time periods that are fraught have high drama or suspense. This word is of Indo-European roots.


  1. fraught | Origin and meaning of fraught | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. fraught: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. FRAUGHT Synonyms: 10 Synonyms & Antonyms for FRAUGHT | Thesaurus 
  4. EMPTY Synonyms: 172 Synonyms & Antonyms for EMPTY | Thesaurus