Definition of freak in US English:



  • 1A very unusual and unexpected event or situation.

    ‘the teacher says the accident was a total freak’
    as modifier ‘a freak storm’
    • ‘Easter had been wet, windy and miserable anyway, and the Beggar and its feeder becks were already to bank level when the freak storm hit the side of Tup Fell and turned swollen into overflowing.’
    • ‘Droughts, heat waves, floods, storms and freak weather events have already killed countless thousands of people worldwide and affected thousands more.’
    • ‘A Fyzabad family whose home was destroyed in September during a freak storm has received building materials to repair their home.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the moment we stepped outside there was a freak hail storm and we got absolutely pounded.’
    • ‘A keen gardener got the shock of her life when a freak storm rained 20 crabs down on her.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure, however, that such a convergence of misfortune was a freak event and it won't happen again.’
    • ‘Last year's floods were a freak event that would be expected to happen only once in 300 years, he stressed.’
    • ‘In far western Queensland, a freak storm has turned the desert white overnight.’
    • ‘There is more chance of a freak storm or asteroid hitting the south coast of England.’
    • ‘Gardaí are investigating the events surrounding the freak accident but it appears it happened when a jeep pulled out of a side road as the young motorcyclist approached.’
    • ‘More than 50 homes were destroyed after a freak storm unleashed its fury late on Wednesday evening.’
    • ‘Last November's floods in York are thought to have been a freak event, expected to happen only once every 300 years.’
    • ‘A preliminary report on the disaster from the Geological Survey of Ireland has blamed a freak weather event for the landslides.’
    • ‘Just off Cape Hatteras, NC, the graveyard of the Atlantic, they were hit by a freak storm.’
    • ‘The accident occurred during a freak April storm, a time when the city had openly admitted to having put away all of its snow clearing equipment.’
    • ‘Now these recent weather conditions are by no means a freak event, and if salmon farms cannot prevent their fish escaping into the wild then the licence to farm should be withdrawn.’
    • ‘The Aral Sea and the tragic plight of its people is not a freak isolated event, but a crisis that's just slightly ahead of its time.’
    • ‘I certainly wouldn't have paid to see it, and it only was a freak chain of events that got me into the theater.’
    fluke, anomaly, aberration, rogue, rarity, quirk, oddity, unusual occurrence, peculiar turn of events, twist of fate
    unusual, anomalous, atypical, untypical, unrepresentative, abnormal, aberrant, irregular, fluky, exceptional, unparalleled, unaccountable, bizarre, queer, peculiar, odd, freakish
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  • 2A person, animal, or plant with an unusual physical abnormality.

    • ‘Also a freak of nature, since I've yet to meet a teenager with prematurely white hair.’
    • ‘A freak of nature, tests had shown he was immune to the TB virus - probably because not even a starving rat would bite him - and he went through adolescence with upper right arm intact.’
    • ‘In the oxygen-deprived nightmare that is Nordic skiing, it helps to be a freak of nature.’
    • ‘And Miguel Indurain, one champion who had struck a chord with me after I had read that he was a freak of nature, a man ideally conditioned genetically to achieve a feat no one else has bettered: winning five tours in succession.’
    • ‘Just streetlights and shadowed houses, bushes and a - a blue-furred freak of nature?’
    • ‘Ogden is an absolute freak of nature at 6-8,345 pounds.’
    • ‘Brainwashed to fear foods that grow freely in the wild, most of us think we're safer eating freaks of nature: mutant plants that only survive in artificially manipulated growing conditions.’
    • ‘She glares at me - for the first of what will become many, many times - as though I'm a three-headed freak of nature whose only goal is her annihilation.’
    • ‘He was foaled in Indiana, was a mere freak of nature, and withal a very curious looking animal.’
    • ‘Abi, being a freak of nature, still has sensation even after doses of epidural that would fell a rhinoceros.’
    • ‘As with all techniques there are a few freaks of nature that have necks strong enough to resist most strangles - but you should know that these people are VERY few and far between.’
    • ‘The freaks of nature displayed here appealed to peoples’ prejudice, their unquenchable curiosity for the outlandish and the unknown, and the paradoxical human attraction and repulsion for the diseased and deformed.’
    • ‘Like the giant ape, the Hulk is a freak of nature, hunted by the authorities.’
    • ‘Though it may not be a particularly pleasant experience to be a freak of nature, an ability to claim and own one's difference is vastly preferable to having another simply pass judgment on it.’
    aberration, abnormality, irregularity, oddity, monster, monstrosity, malformation, mutant
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    1. 2.1informal A person regarded as strange because of their unusual appearance or behavior.
      ‘he used to be called a freak at school and knows how much it hurts’
      • ‘Having publicly made such a declaration, one would inevitably be looked upon as a freak or lunatic by others, and one would be ostracized by the collective.’
      • ‘She quickly glanced at her appearance to make sure she didn't look like a freak or anything.’
      • ‘All her life she was ridiculed for being a freak, when there was really nothing strange about her.’
      • ‘I live with such freaks, but at least they don't question my strange hours, or the many suitcases I bring home.’
      • ‘I know this places me somewhere between a freak and a weirdo, but there you have it.’
      • ‘To feel that way towards toffs today makes you at best an anachronism, at worst a freak, as I was reminded recently when I appeared at a literary festival.’
      • ‘The other kids on the dance floor were gaping at him like he was a total freak, and a frightening idea filled his head.’
      • ‘From the way the mainstream media covers your generation and mine, you would think that we are the freaks and misfits.’
      • ‘I would hate to have to share my dorm room with someone who either thinks I'm some kind of freak or a lunatic.’
      • ‘This is a group where no one would be a misfit, a freak.’
      • ‘Well, the cheerleaders also tried to invite her to become a cheerleader but she declined, hence making her a freak and a total loser.’
      • ‘This will make them think they have brought up a well-balanced individual instead of a hideously insecure freak.’
      • ‘He's a total freak who couldn't be careful to save his life.’
      • ‘At my then school I was one of the weirdos, the freaks and the losers.’
      • ‘Living and working in London you become accustomed to freaks, weirdos and nutters wandering about doing their own thing and occasionally dragging normal people into random conversations.’
      • ‘With him, she wouldn't be a strange, anti-social freak, but just a person.’
      • ‘Instead, the documentary comes off as a portrait of a freak with some strange obsessions he's been able to make into a university career.’
      • ‘At the bottom was a disclaimer: ‘No freaks or weirdos.’’
      • ‘They say it takes all types to make up the world… but if you ask me, there are some strange freaks that we could do without.’
      • ‘Had I not grown used to odd behavior, I would have considered the guy a freak.’
      oddity, eccentric, eccentric person, peculiar person, strange person, unorthodox person, individualist, free spirit, maverick, misfit
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  • 3informal with modifier A person who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about a specified interest.

    ‘a fitness freak’
    • ‘As we chatted, I discovered that the delicate-looking flower opposite me was a complete football freak.’
    • ‘Over the past few years the shops have moved away from selling advanced kit which appeals to technology freaks, towards a more general gift shop approach.’
    • ‘My co-worker Fred von Lohmann, EFF's Senior Intellectual Property Lawyer, is also a certified hi-fi nut, gearhead, and gadget freak.’
    • ‘Charles is a musician and an inveterate computer freak who was - is - broadly liberal and nonjudgmental in a laid-back musicianly sort of way.’
    • ‘The fitness freaks in the city and the regular morning strollers at the Museum grounds are pleased that their routines have not been disrupted.’
    • ‘Set to address the needs and demands of the fitness freaks, the aesthetically designed and well equipped gym boasts of the best facilities in the City.’
    • ‘And there's also an added bonus for speed freak dads: the chance to go for an unbelievable spin in a rally car.’
    • ‘As technology freaks will recall, the first car and its subsequent advances were, at best, motorized carriages as far as design was concerned.’
    • ‘I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass this along to one or two really old technology freaks, maybe someone knows something.’
    • ‘This little beauty would make even the ultimate gadget freak purr with anticipation.’
    • ‘Not only will it boost energy levels, it will also leave one with a feel-good feeling all day, fitness freaks point out.’
    • ‘My dad used to be been a complete neat freak, obsessed with shining surfaces and clutter-free room.’
    • ‘It is a way of hoping to generate interest on the part of the men who are car freaks.’
    • ‘I admit I am a fitness freak - back home in the UK, I row, run up mountains and do the triathlon, as well as paying my gym subscription and actually going!’
    • ‘The theory deems that cities need culture freaks in order to make the dynamic creative class feel at home.’
    • ‘You do not have to be a cyber culture freak to decide that life is too short to accommodate the rows of books lining your bookshelves.’
    • ‘In case all of this doesn't seem enough the hotel boasts a top class leisure centre, where we could swim, relax in the Jacuzzi, sample the steam room and sauna and for fitness freaks there was a well equipped gym.’
    • ‘This is all very well if you are a dedicated fitness freak or yoga girl, but for the majority of us this look simply doesn't work.’
    • ‘It transpires that cross-country skiing is an earnest activity for fitness freaks, something joggers can do in the snow.’
    • ‘More and more fitness freaks, young school and college students and even retired persons are taking to Karate as a way of life just like Yoga or aerobics.’
    enthusiast, fan, fanatic, addict, devotee, lover
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    1. 3.1usually with modifier A person addicted to a drug of a particular kind.
      ‘the twins were cocaine freaks’
      • ‘So, even if you weren't an LSD freak, you had to be careful about the sensitivity of the LSD freak next to you.’
      • ‘At the beginning of spring, with a couple of other drug freaks, he'd rented some barrack-type buildings on the edge of a one-time military airbase.’
      • ‘And she is a speed freak and he is a junkie, so there's no conflict.’
      • ‘Now, maybe it's me, but the only people I know who would take that risk are meth freaks or SAS / Delta troopers.’
      • ‘We weren't these cocaine freaks who partied all the time; that wasn't what our relationship was all about.’
  • 4archaic A sudden arbitrary change of mind; a whim.

    ‘follow this way or that, as the freak takes you’
    • ‘Webster's perennial dictionary defines fad as a hobby, freak, or a whim.’
    whim, whimsy, fancy, fad, vagary, notion, conceit, caprice, kink, twist, fetish, passion, bent, foible, quirk, eccentricity, idiosyncrasy
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  • 1informal Behave or cause to behave in a wild and irrational way, typically because of the effects of extreme emotion, mental illness, or drugs.

    no object ‘I could have freaked out and started smashing the place up’
    with object ‘he freaks guest stars out on show day’
    • ‘Two of the squad, perhaps more accustomed to the Ankara city environment than jogging about in the sticks, got a little freaked out by the clusters of trees, and were separated from the main party.’
    • ‘So I freaked out for nothing - it was just a lapse.’
    • ‘Natalie is terrified of stalkers so she was really freaked out.’
    • ‘Its been a good few weeks since I last freaked out over the impending apocalypse, and I figured that watching this would get me sufficiently paranoid for the next month or so.’
    • ‘Last weekend left me freaked out when I thought about how I behaved and how I didn't realize I was drunk.’
    • ‘I'm still freaked out when I cross an empty parking lot.’
    • ‘Once again he freaked out, and even though I was only joking about the headlock thing before, I did end up holding him in a headlock just to let the Dr look at his ears and throat.’
    • ‘And I suspect perhaps there are many idiots out there who enjoy seeing innocent people like me get freaked out on a plane trip.’
    • ‘Hannah walked out into the backyard and I freaked out on her.’
    • ‘She was a lot more freaked out about losing me.’
    • ‘And that freaked me out, and you know how easily I get freaked out.’
    • ‘This freaked me out - what if I got infected from this?’
    • ‘The best thing is, it completely freaked us out.’
    • ‘But the lights were on inside, and I got freaked out.’
    • ‘She was panicking and completely freaked out because she didn't know what to do.’
    • ‘I wanted to hug him and tell him it was okay and that I was sorry I'd freaked out on him.’
    • ‘The cops were gonna come and the sound guy freaked out, he thought that all his gear would get confiscated, so he just packed up and left, and we didn't get to play..’
    • ‘I've freaked out on everyone in every band on every tour I've been in.’
    • ‘He, like any normal person, gets freaked out by the thoughts of loosing control of his life, emotions and self, and this, of course, leads to more worry and stress.’
    • ‘Initially, I agreed and everything was going great until she freaked out on me and started telling me that she was still in love with me.’
    go crazy, go mad, go out of one's mind, go to pieces, crack, snap, lose control, lose one's self-control, lose control of the situation, act wildly
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  • 2archaic with object Fleck or streak randomly.

    ‘the white pink and the pansy freaked with jet’
    stripe, band, bar, fleck
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Mid 16th century (in freak (sense 4 of the noun)): probably from a dialect word.