Fraught

fraught.png

Another word that you don’t tend to find being taught or used that often by speakers of English as a second language According to Google’s trawling of the corpus world, it is not however going out of fashion.

There are two main uses of fraught basically:

Sailing in the Indian ocean is fraught with danger given the number of pirates in the area.

Doing up an old house can be fraught with difficulties and hidden structural ‘surprises’.

 So, the first meaning is ‘full of’ and we are referring to negative or unpleasant things.

The other meaning, probably less commonly used, is that of worried, anxious or tense.

fraught party

(Jen Yuson Photography)

The mood at the reception suddenly became fraught when her drunk ex-husband turned up.

 Relations between the two departments are somewhat fraught at the moment since the discovery of the theft.

 What I did not know before is that the word derives from Middle Dutch and means laden with something, like a cargo. So, it is a relative of the word freight! Interesting how some offshoots stand the test of the time!

 

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