Middle English Dictionary Entry

frēten v.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) To devour (something), to eat up; (b) to eat (something); esp., to eat hungrily or greedily; ~ fil, to eat (one's) fill; ~ of, to partake of, eat of; ~ up, to eat up, devour; (c) to bite (something), to tear (with the teeth), to chew or gnaw; of a dart: to pierce; (d) to gnash the teeth.
Fig. To consume, swallow up; destroy.
(a) To file or scrape (something) away; rub to pieces, destroy by scraping; (b) to rub or chafe (something), to polish or cleanse by friction; ~ on, to rub (something) onto (a surface); (c) to preen (feathers); (d) cook. to force (through a sieve) by rubbing or grating.
To corrode (something); of stone: to rot or crumble.
(a) To sting, smart, hurt; ~ flesh, to mortify (the flesh); freting cold, biting cold; ~ etik, burning fever; (b) of emotions, vices, etc.: to vex or consume (the heart, someone); refl. be vexed, wear oneself out (by worry, fear, etc.), freten to noughtes; freting herte, vexed or fretting mind; (c) to goad or importune (someone).
Med. To corrode, destroy: (a) of diseases, humors, poisons, ulcers: to be destructive (of bodily tissues), to corrode, waste; (b) of medicinal preparations: to be corrosive, to consume, destroy (ulcers, etc.); freting medicine, a corrosive agent, a caustic; (c) to remove (tissue) by cutting with a loop of thread.
Note: Quot. found under sense (b) in print MED [a1425(c1385) Chaucer TC (Benson-Robinson) 5.1470] has been moved to upfreten v.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

Note: Med., etc. (sense 5.(b)), see further J.Norri, Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary, s.v. fretting medicine.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Ashm.750 Artist.Recipes (Ashm 750) 253/16 : Forto wryte apon yrn or stele. Take hoot wex and ley it playn on a blade..than graue thy lettyrs in the wex..than ley..water apon the letres, and let it reste..til þe water be well fret into þe blade.
  • Note: Glossary: "fret ppl. adj. 'corroded'
    Note: Additional quote, sense 3..