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freak 1 (frēk)
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n.
1. A thing or occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular: A freak of nature produced the midsummer snow.
2. An abnormally formed organism, especially one regarded as a curiosity.
3. A sudden capricious turn of mind; a whim: "The freaks of the psyche can no more be explained than the Devil" (Maurice Collis).
4. Slang
a. A drug user or addict: a speed freak.
b. An eccentric or nonconformist person, especially a member of a counterculture.
c. An enthusiast: rock music freaks.
adj.
Highly unusual or irregular: a freak accident; a freak storm.
intr. & tr.v. freaked, freak·ing, freaks
Slang
1. To experience or cause to experience frightening hallucinations or feelings of paranoia, especially as a result of taking a drug. Often used with out.
2. To behave or cause to behave irrationally and uncontrollably. Often used with out.
3. To become or cause to become greatly excited or upset. Often used with out.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
freak 2 (frēk)
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n.
A fleck or streak of color.
tr.v. freaked, freak·ing, freaks
To speckle or streak with color: "the white Pink, and the Pansy freaked with jet" (John Milton).

[From FREAK1.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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