American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To cause to be uneasy; vex: "fret thy soul with crosses and with cares” ( Edmund Spenser).
- v. To gnaw or wear away; erode.
- v. To produce a hole or worn spot in; corrode. See Synonyms at chafe.
- v. To form (a passage or channel) by erosion.
- v. To disturb the surface of (water or a stream); agitate.
- v. To be vexed or troubled; worry. See Synonyms at brood.
- v. To be worn or eaten away; become corroded.
- v. To move agitatedly.
- v. To gnaw with the teeth in the manner of a rodent.
- n. The act or an instance of fretting.
- n. A hole or worn spot made by abrasion or erosion.
- n. Irritation of mind; agitation.
- n. One of several ridges set across the fingerboard of a stringed instrument, such as a guitar.
- v. To provide with frets.
- v. To press (the strings of an instrument) against the frets.
- n. An ornamental design consisting of repeated and symmetrical geometric figures, often in relief, contained within a band or border. Also called key pattern.
- n. A headdress, worn by women of the Middle Ages, consisting of interlaced wire.
- v. To provide with such a design or headdress.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To eat up; devour.
- To eat into; gnaw; corrode.
- To wear away; fray; rub; chafe: as, to fret cloth by friction; to fret the skin.
- To make rough; cause to ripple; disturb; agitate: as, to fret the surface of water.
- To chafe painfully or vexatiously; irritate; worry; gall.
- To be worn away, as by friction; become frayed or chafed; be wearing out or wasting.
- To make way by attrition or corrosion.
- To be worried; give way to chafed or irritated feelings; speak peevishly and complainingly.
- To be in commotion or agitation, as water; boil, bubble, or work as in fermentation; hence, to work as angry feelings; rankle.
- n. A wearing away, abrasion, or corrosion.
- n. A place worn or abraded, as by friction.
- n. In med.: Chafing, as in the folds of the skin of fat children.
- n. Herpes; tetter.
- n. In mining, the worn side of a river-bank, where ores, or stones containing them, accumulate by being washed down the hills, and thus indicate to the miner the locality of the veins.
- n. A state of chafing or irritation, as of the mind, temper, etc.; vexation; anger: as, he keeps himself in a continual fret.
- n. The agitation of the surface of a fluid, as when fermenting or boiling; a rippling on the surface, as of water; a state of ebullition or effervescence, as of wine.
- n. A flurry.
- n. A glass composition, composed of silica, lime, soda, borax, and lead, used as a glaze by potters.
- To adorn; ornament; set off.
- n. A caul of silver or gold wire, sometimes ornamented with precious stones, worn by ladies in the middle ages.
- n. A piece of interlaced or perforated ornamental work.
- n. A kind of ornament much employed in Grecian art and in sundry modifications common in various other styles. It is formed of bands or fillets variously combined, frequently consisting of continuous lines arranged in rectangular forms. Sometimes called
- n. In heraldry, a charge consisting of two bendlets placed in saltier and interlaced with a mascle. Also called true-lover's knot and Harrington knot.
- To ornament with or as if with frets.
- To make a fret of.
- To fasten; bind.
- To strengthen; fill.
- n. In musical instruments of the lute and viol class, a small ridge of wood, ivory, metal, or other material, set across the finger-board, and serving as a fixed point for stopping or shortening the strings in playing, the fingers being applied just above it so as to press the string against it. Frets were originally used on all varieties of the lute and the viol; but they are now employed only in the guitar and zither and sometimes in the banjo.
- To provide with frets.
- Punningly, in Shakspere, to worry as if by acting upon the frets of.
- n. A frith.
- Same as freight.
- To form by fretting or corrosion.
- v. transitive, obsolete/poetic To devour, consume; eat.
- v. transitive and intransitive To gnaw, consume, eat away.
- v. transitive To cut through with fretsaw, create fretwork.
- v. transitive To chafe or irritate; to worry.
- v. intransitive To worry or be anxious.
- v. music To press down the string behind a fret.
- n. music One of the pieces of metal/wood/plastic across the neck of a guitar or other musical instrument that marks note positions for fingering.
- n. An ornamental pattern consisting of repeated vertical and horizontal lines (often in relief).
- n. A strait; channel.
- n. dialect, North East England A fog or mist at sea or coming inland from the sea
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. See 1st frith.
- v. obsolete To devour.
- v. To rub; to wear away by friction; to chafe; to gall; hence, to eat away; to gnaw
- v. To impair; to wear away; to diminish.
- v. To make rough, agitate, or disturb; to cause to ripple.
- v. To tease; to irritate; to vex.
- v. To be worn away; to chafe; to fray.
- v. To eat in; to make way by corrosion.
- v. To be agitated; to be in violent commotion; to rankle.
- v. To be vexed; to be chafed or irritated; to be angry; to utter peevish expressions.
- n. The agitation of the surface of a fluid by fermentation or other cause; a rippling on the surface of water.
- n. Agitation of mind marked by complaint and impatience; disturbance of temper; irritation.
- n. Herpes; tetter.
- n. (Mining) The worn sides of river banks, where ores, or stones containing them, accumulate by being washed down from the hills, and thus indicate to the miners the locality of the veins.
- v. To ornament with raised work; to variegate; to diversify.
- n. Ornamental work in relief, as carving or embossing. See fretwork.
- n. (Arch.) An ornament consisting of small fillets or slats intersecting each other or bent at right angles, as in classical designs, or at oblique angles, as often in Oriental art.
- n. The reticulated headdress or net, made of gold or silver wire, in which ladies in the Middle Ages confined their hair.
- n. (Her.) A saltire interlaced with a mascle.
- n. (Mus.) A short piece of wire, or other material fixed across the finger board of a guitar or a similar instrument, to indicate where the finger is to be placed.
- v. To furnish with frets, as an instrument of music.
- n. a spot that has been worn away by abrasion or erosion
- v. worry unnecessarily or excessively
- n. agitation resulting from active worry
- v. carve a pattern into
- v. gnaw into; make resentful or angry
- v. remove soil or rock
- v. cause annoyance in
- v. cause friction
- v. decorate with an interlaced design
- n. a small bar of metal across the fingerboard of a musical instrument; when the string is stopped by a finger at the metal bar it will produce a note of the desired pitch
- v. provide (a musical instrument) with frets
- v. be too tight; rub or press
- v. be agitated or irritated
- v. become or make sore by or as if by rubbing
- n. an ornamental pattern consisting of repeated vertical and horizontal lines (often in relief)
- v. wear away or erode
- Unknown (Wiktionary)
- Middle English freten, from Old English fretan, to devour; see ed- in Indo-European roots.Origin unknown.Middle English, interlaced work, from Old French frete. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word fret means literally “to burn or consume.””
“Reply nate says actually they do have that its called a fret light guitar there around 500 bucks”
“When George Harrison plays "Here Comes the Sun," his guitar is in standard tuning, but he has a capo on the seventh fret, which is what gives it that tinkly sound ...”
“For Chapman Stick warmup today, I decided to do something slightly different: instead of playing just behind the fret, which is where I aim for clear tone, I decided to try tapping exactly onto the fret.”
“I've got good workin 'boys and right industrious darkeys, but it takes a man with a head on and his eyes well open to keep up with 'em and watch out for little things -- little damages that aggravate a man and keep him in a fret, that is if he is but human and can't help fretting when things go wrong.”
“Hannah, on purpose to vex them and make them to fret, which is a barbarous thing.”
“As CD sales plummet and the big labels fret about the Internet, bands are seizing control of the means of distribution, releasing their music as free downloads or throwing it up on social networking sites.”
“RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie says he doesn't "fret" about competition.”
“Modelled here by Robin Horn It's guitar shaped, with 8 "fret" buttons, and two pressure pads.”
“The very word "fret" is significant of destruction.”
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