1. An agency or creation that slips from the control of and ultimately destroys its creator: "How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?" (Milton Friedman).
2. A monster having the appearance of a man.
[From Frankenstein, the creator of the artificial monster in Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.