Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 3, 2019 is:

fraught • FRAWT  • adjective

1 : full of or accompanied by something specified — used with with

2 : causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension : uneasy


“Ruth didn’t think of herself as the kind of person who cared deeply about the outcome of a game played by fifth graders … but even she found it impossible not to get swept up in the excitement as the clock wound down, and every play became fraught with danger and possibility.” — Tom Perrotta, The Abstinence Teacher, 2007

“… The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards … will be loads of fun for the nominees and presenters, and for the audience at home, but this one is fraught. With television in a state of flux that was once unimaginable—multiple new streaming services will launch between now and next year’s Emmys—and bristling tensions among writers, their agents and studios, there’s a lot at stake.” — John Doyle, The Globe and Mail, 20 Sept. 2019

Did you know?

“The drowmound was so hevy fraught / That unethe myght it saylen aught.” That verse, from the 14th-century poem Richard Coer de Lion, says that a large ship (a dromond) was so heavily loaded that it could barely sail: originally, something that was “fraught” was laden with freight. Fraught came to Middle English from the Middle Dutch or Middle Low German noun vracht, which meant “load” and which is also the source of freight. For centuries, fraught continued to be used of loaded ships, but its use was eventually broadened for situations that are heavy with tension or some other weighty characteristic.

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