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Fret   /frɛt/   Listen
Fret

verb
(past & past part. fretted; pres. part. fretting)
1.
Worry unnecessarily or excessively.  Synonyms: fuss, niggle.
2.
Be agitated or irritated.
3.
Provide (a musical instrument) with frets.
4.
Become or make sore by or as if by rubbing.  Synonyms: chafe, gall.
5.
Cause annoyance in.
6.
Gnaw into; make resentful or angry.  Synonyms: eat into, grate, rankle.  "His resentment festered"
7.
Carve a pattern into.
8.
Decorate with an interlaced design.
9.
Be too tight; rub or press.  Synonyms: choke, gag.
10.
Cause friction.  Synonyms: chafe, fray, rub, scratch.
11.
Remove soil or rock.  Synonyms: eat away, erode.
12.
Wear away or erode.  Synonym: eat away.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Fret" Quotes from Famous Books



... I have seen the sky, which was washed overnight, and the sun, which has evidently been freshly enamelled. I have seen the new leaves as they swayed and whispered over your extensive domains, with the fret of spring alert in every sap cell. I have seen the little birds as they hopped among said leaves and commented upon the scarcity of worms. I have seen the buxom flowers as they curtsied and danced above your flower-beds like a miniature ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... the bottle eagerly and cries when it is taken away. He often forms the habit of sucking his fingers immediately after. He begins to fret half an hour or an hour before the next ...
— The Care and Feeding of Children - A Catechism for the Use of Mothers and Children's Nurses • L. Emmett Holt

... a kind word, and tell him not to fret— There's many worthier than I would make him ...
— Daisy's Necklace - And What Came of It • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... It seems my fate to fret away my years in this country. Not for a second do I regret being American—indeed, I think that a regret typical of very vulgar people, and I feel sure we are the great coming nation—yet"—and she ...
— This Side of Paradise • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... "If you will think of the common sense of it, you can easily see that the strain of fretting is interfering radically with your getting well. For when you are using up strength to fret, you are simply robbing yourself of the vitality which would be used directly in the cure of ...
— Nerves and Common Sense • Annie Payson Call

... it all, don't shove a man into a corner. Suppose I asked you to go to Mrs. Ed. and tell her not to fret about trifles, do you suppose she wouldn't, just because you wanted her not ...
— Revenge! • by Robert Barr

... in bed—he's had some sort of stroke. He's feelin' mighty low in his mind, an' he says he's played out with the fight of all these years. I told him that he needn't fret himself because we have you. You've always been so strong an' manly—even when you were a little feller. You'd better see him, Ham, an' cheer him up. Tell him you can take right hold an' run ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... decrees that you must not leave this place. You will have a little princess more beautiful than Venus herself. Let nothing fret you; time ...
— Old-Time Stories • Charles Perrault

... look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret, I will be master of what is mine own; She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything; And here she stands, touch her whoever dare; I'll bring my action on the proudest he, That stops ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... I stoop to fret And lie and haggle in the market-place, Give dross for dross, or everything for nought? No! let me sit above the crowd, and sing, Waiting with hope for that miraculous change Which seems like sleep; and though I waiting starve, I cannot kiss the idols that are set By every ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... had ever morally fallen enough even to fret the brow. It is the fall that disfigures. They had lived up to inherited principles (such as they were), and one of the minor of these was, to adapt their contours to whatever ...
— Kincaid's Battery • George W. Cable

... month. Yet he would not stay, for after long and serious converse with both Merlin and Sir Launcelot, he followed the great urge to go forward. For he felt the call now greater, more insistent. Yet did he somewhat fret since this urge, this call seemed to lead him nowhere, seemed only to ...
— In the Court of King Arthur • Samuel Lowe

... I'm slandered so, If I go high,—if I go low,— There's always some one who will say, "Just see that mercury to-day!" And whether toward the top I crawl Or down toward zero I may fall, They always fret, and say that I Am far too low or far too high. Although I try with all my might, I never seem to strike it right. Now I admit it seems to me They show great inconsistency. But they imply I am to blame; Of course that makes my anger ...
— The Jingle Book • Carolyn Wells

... is decidedly one of the best of the few. The suggestions and directions contained in its pages are given in a pointed, straightforward manner, and appeal at once to the good sense of all housekeepers who will save themselves an infinity of trouble and worry and fret by giving them the consideration they deserve. The twenty-four chapters of the book deal with different subjects, the all-important one, "How to make Housework Easier," properly taking the lead. Other chapters which we especially commend ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Vol. II, No. 6, March, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... machine that had attracted me from the ship, a curious hunched affair with a violently working apparatus in front and pipes covered with snow curving up and disappearing into the top of it. A small foot-lathe stood by a bench, and on the bench itself was clamped a fret-work table and a partly completed fret-work corner bracket. I wiped my face with my sweat-rag and turned to get a good look at the owner of this variegated display. It seemed to me I ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... into a stupor and never stir until it was time to get up again, and dress by candlelight, and go back to the machines. They were so numbed that they did not even suffer much from hunger, now; only the children continued to fret when the food ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... privileges and duties, or else ye shall be as far from the kingdom of heaven as Sodom and Gomorrah. We speak of rulers' sins, that ye may mourn for them, lest ye be judged with them. If ye do not mourn for them in secret, know that they are your sins, ye are companions with them. Many fret, grudge, and cry out against oppression, but who weeps in secret? Who prays and deprecates God's wrath, lest it come upon them? And while it is so, the oppression of rulers becomes the sin ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... England— sending my heart after them in impotent cravings: I used, I remember, to mark off the days as they passed, in the little almanack of my pocket- book—scoring them out, just as Robinson Crusoe was in the habit of notching his post for the same purpose:—I used to fret and fret, in fact, eating my soul away in ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... me, the merchant said, As over his ledger he bent his head; I'm busy to-day with tare and tret, And I have no time to fume and fret. It was something to him when over the wire A message came from a funeral pyre— A drunken conductor had wrecked a train, And his wife and child were among ...
— Poems • Frances E. W. Harper

... the little eyes danced and sparkled, and how eagerly they engaged to fulfill the conditions, and not to fret or look cross when summoned at nine, to leave the drawing-room ...
— Elsie's Motherhood • Martha Finley

... From our wanderings afar, From our multifarious labours, From the things that fret and jar; From the highways and the byways, From the hill-tops and the vales; From the dust and heat of city street, And the joys of lonesome trails,— Evening brings us home at ...
— 'All's Well!' • John Oxenham

... been breaking bounds. Oh dear, boys will be boys, and it's quite natural, my dear, for you to want to get away, and run where you like. I don't wonder, shut up as you all are, like being in a cage. There, don't you fret, and it'll all come right. I'll see that you have something beside bread and water. Bread and water, indeed! Such stuff as is only to cook with. Why, they might just as well ...
— Burr Junior • G. Manville Fenn

... the prior's table. They had been bespoken some time, and could be no longer delayed. Paul was weary of an idle life, and eager to see something of the country in which he found himself. He was in comfortable quarters enough at the farm; but he was growing stronger each day, and was beginning to fret against the fetters which held him from straying far from ...
— In the Wars of the Roses - A Story for the Young • Evelyn Everett-Green

... 'Don't fret yourself about us. We are well known in our county, and above suspicion. Whenever you yourself should feel that your presence was like to be a danger, I am quite willing to ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... traveller who consults his own case and convenience, to be liberal of his money to all that sort of people; and even to wink at the imposition of aubergistes on the road, unless it be very flagrant. So sure as you enter into disputes with them, you will be put to a great deal of trouble, and fret yourself to no manner of purpose. I have travelled with oeconomists in England, who declared they would rather give away a crown than allow themselves to be cheated of a farthing. This is a good maxim, but requires a great share of resolution and self-denial to put it in practice. In one excursion ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... and ales fret and spoil very soon in warm weather, which proceeds from the development and avolation of their fixed air; strong beers and ales have their limits under the same influence of heat, time, change of the atmosphere, &c., and owe their preservation to two things, viz. to a due ...
— The American Practical Brewer and Tanner • Joseph Coppinger

... autem diis, nimis enim remota est eorum natura a nostra, quapropter daemonibus: and so belike that we have so many battles fought in all ages, countries, is to make them a feast, and their sole delight: but to return to that I said before, if displeased they fret and chafe, (for they feed belike on the souls of beasts, as we do on their bodies) and send many plagues amongst us; but if pleased, then they do much good; is as vain as the rest and confuted by Austin, l. 9. c. 8. de Civ. Dei. Euseb. l. 4. praepar. Evang. ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... gone back to the North, whence he could not return for two months to come, and Lilias settled down contentedly to play the interesting part of the fiancee. She did not fret for her lover, but seemed abundantly content to receive his letters, and pen lengthy answers; and though the date of her marriage was so far ahead, she began at once to make preparations for her future home. One rainy afternoon she shut herself in her bedroom, ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... ought to cry. It's a thing too big for that. Come here, you little Luke! Maw hain't b'en real good to you an' Tommy lately. You're gittin' all white an' peaked. Too much frettin' 'bout Nat. You an' me's got to stop it, I tell you. Folks round here ain't goin' to let us fret—" ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... not that that has 'ampered Miss Norah much, I will say, seein' how she rides an' all. I'm sure it's a picture to see her on that there Bobs, an' the dumb beast knows every single word she says to him. They'll fret for each other cruel, Bobs an' her, when she goes ...
— Mates at Billabong • Mary Grant Bruce

... and order the things myself; I used even to go to the big markets, and half kill myself trying to get things a little cheaper at one place and another, and waste more car-fare and lay up more doctor's bills than it would all come to, ten times over. I used to fret my life out, remembering the prices; but now, thank goodness, that's all over. I don't know any more what beef is a pound than my husband does; if a thing isn't good, I send it straight back, and that puts them on their honor, ...
— Through the Eye of the Needle - A Romance • W. D. Howells

... back her beautiful curls, "you don't know how ma and I fret about you. You'll kill poor ma before ever we ...
— Captain Horace • Sophie May

... "He'll fret his gizzard green if he don't soon hear from that maid of his. Well, learning is better than houses and lands. But to keep a maid at school till she is taller out of pattens than her mother was in ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... stayeth away but one single month far from his wife in his benched ship fretteth himself when winter storms and the furious sea imprison him; but for us, the ninth year of our stay here is upon us in its course. Therefore do I not marvel that the Achaians should fret beside their beaked ships; yet nevertheless is it shameful to wait long and to depart empty. Be of good heart, my friends, and wait a while, until we learn whether Kalchas be a true prophet or no. For this thing verily we know well in our hearts, and ye all ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

... every one knows that, commercially, they have been failures. But it is probable that neither of these eminent engineers gave himself anything like the anxious concern that Telford did about the financial issue of his undertaking. Were railway engineers to fret and vex themselves about the commercial value of the schemes in which they have been engaged, there are few of them but would be so haunted by the ghosts of wrecked speculations that they could scarcely ...
— The Life of Thomas Telford by Smiles • Samuel Smiles

... foolish Pope shall fret, It is a sober thing. Thou sounding trifler, cease to rave, Loudly to damn, and loudly save, And sweep with mimic thunders' swell Armies of honest souls to hell! The time on whirring wing Hath fled when this prevail'd. O, Heaven! One hour, one ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... place of Sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling stream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;— I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still. 150 Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answer'd,—I was not in debt. If want provok'd, or madness made them print, I wag'd no war with Bedlam ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... get up, and not fret a bit, if you'll only help me look. Please come now to dress me, and see if you can find ...
— Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag VI - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Etc. • Louisa M. Alcott

... as he begins to fret, down goes every thing that is within Reach of his Cane. I once prevailed upon him never to carry a Stick in his Hand, but this saved me nothing; for upon seeing me do something that did not please him, he kicked down a great Jarr, that cost him above Ten ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... fair sirs," quoth this Oswald, the old Reve, "I pray you all that you yourselves ne'er grieve, Though my reply should somewhat fret his nose; For lawful 'tis with force, force to oppose. This drunken Miller hath informed us here How that some folks beguiled a carpenter - Perhaps in scorn that I of yore was one. So, by your leave, him I'll requite anon. ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... o' Patty Beech, The Patty Beech he used to—see, Or ask at all if Patty Beech Is known or heard of out this way? - Ask ever if she's living yet, And where her present home may be, And how she bears life's fag and fret ...
— Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses • Thomas Hardy

... If frequently I fret and fume, And absolutely will not smile, I err in company with Hume, Old Socrates ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... never known was, in Haldane's mind, his real idea of her as his wife. For he had been very kind; he had patiently let her look out for him; he had kept the fret of his heart off his tongue, and the sulkiness of his temper off his face. What he had not succeeded in doing, however, was to keep the hurt of his soul out of his eyes. So they had gone on with it for the ...
— Life at High Tide - Harper's Novelettes • Various

... What next? he asked himself. Here was a calamity that could not be dodged. He shrugged, finally. "No use to fret. No use to crouch beneath a load. I'd give my right arm to be back in Dallas, but—this is our chance to cultivate the Christian virtue of submission. So be it! One must have a heart for every fate, but," he smiled ...
— Flowing Gold • Rex Beach

... he had expected it, and this gave him time to lie and fret and listen again for the striking of the clock in the room downstairs. The waiting became too long, and as his fever increased he became insanely impatient and could not restrain himself. To lie and listen for his visitor's footsteps upon ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... Hodgson likes. It is not often he does, and when he don't he tells me with great energy, and I fret and alter. I have thrown them in to soften the ferocity of our Infidel, and, for a dying man, have given him a good deal to ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. II - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... well to lighten the ship, but not by throwing overboard the ordnance; for you can but drop them close to the ship's side, and where the water is shallow they will lie up against the side of the ship and fret it, and with the working of the sea make her ...
— A Journal of the Swedish Embassy in the Years 1653 and 1654, Vol II. • Bulstrode Whitelocke

... to go wrong, then, old man," he exclaimed almost fiercely. "Don't you fret. But, by Jove, we will be late for dinner!" and afraid to trust himself to say another word, he turned to one of the groups near and at last got from the room. He did not go up to his own, but on into the front hall, and so out ...
— The Man and the Moment • Elinor Glyn

... recovering. With rare restraint young Dr. Charlton did not fuss and fret and meddle, did not hamper nature with his blundering efforts to assist, did not stuff "nourishment" into his patient to decay and to produce poisonous blood. He let the young man's superb vitality work the ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... you don't think him such a fool, that he should go and care for a homeless baggage like that? Nikta is a sensible fellow, you see. He knows whom to love. So don't you go and fret, my jewel. We'll not take him away, and we won't marry him. No, we'll let him stay on, if you'll only oblige us with ...
— The Power of Darkness • Leo Tolstoy

... the greatest brain savers is elimination. Every man should try to operate along lines of the least resistance, eliminate the deterrent influences and all things that fret him. ...
— Dollars and Sense • Col. Wm. C. Hunter

... contrivance and management I can get some new trimming for my Sunday hat, and a pair of chevrette gloves; good chevrette gloves are dear, but they wear splendidly, and a pair would last me most of the winter—yes," her eyes brightening, "I am sure I could do it; it does fret Marcus so ...
— Doctor Luttrell's First Patient • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... these scenes we could fix our home for life, away and afar from the dull town we have left behind us, with the fret of its wearying cares and the jar of its ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Mrs. Briggs managed to recover somewhat of the hard demeanour that usually characterized her. "I've no call to fret," she said. "And don't you go rubbin' my dirty face with your clean 'andkerchief, Miss Violet. I ain't fit for you to ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... young monkey?" she asked, stamping her foot; "Tell me directly what you've been doing to wear me away with fret and ...
— Ten Boys from Dickens • Kate Dickinson Sweetser

... always been good to you. Well, as you are to ride with me on Monday, I pray that you will keep your temper under control, lest it should bring us into trouble, and you also. As for you, Marie, my dear, do not fret because a wild beast has tried to toss you with his horns, although he happens to be your father. On Monday morning you pass out of his power into your own, and on that day I will marry you to Allan Quatermain ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... descend to the river and, day or night, early or late, June or December, hot or cold, wet or dry, fair or stormy, the roar and rush, fret and fume of the water is never out of one's ears. Even when asleep it seems to "seep" in through the benumbed senses, and tell of its never-ending flow. After a few weeks of it, one comes away and finds he cannot sleep. He misses it and finds himself unable to sleep ...
— The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It, • George Wharton James

... round the Hollyhock's hoar fragrance play. Soon temper'd to their will through eve's low beam, And link'd in airy bands the viscous stream, They waft their nut-brown loads exulting home, That form a fret-work for the future comb; Caulk every chink where rushing winds may roar, And seal their circling ...
— Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee - A Bee Keeper's Manual • L. L. Langstroth

... not cry at parting; not fret afterwards. She must look forward to meeting again, and try to be happy meanwhile. ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... concerning the merits of her sitting-room Rachael soon fancied that she could detect traces of an ingenuous and possibly senile "house-pride," which did more than fret the lady companion; it faintly offended her. That one should be proud of a possession or of an achievement was admissible, but that one should fail to conceal the pride absolutely was to Rachel, with her Five Towns character, a sign of weakness, a sign of the soft South. ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... answered, carelessly. 'Maude won't die. She's got the Tracy constitution, which nothing can kill. Don't fret about your room. Maude liked being there. Nothing could keep her away. And don't flatter yourself that it was all love for you which took her there so much, for it wasn't. She is just mashed with Harold, while he—well, what can a young man do when a pretty ...
— Tracy Park • Mary Jane Holmes

... Would be a rabbit in a wile-cat's claw, Ef't warn't for thet slow critter, 'stablished law; Onsettle thet, an' all the world goes whiz, A screw is loose in everythin' there is: Good buttresses once settled, don't you fret An' stir 'em: take a bridge's word for thet! Young folks are smart, but all ain't good thet's new; I guess the gran'thers ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... you take my place," I returned, decidedly, for I had the Cameron spirit, and would not yield my point; "for in that case Dot would lose his Sunday lessons, and Jack would be listless and fret mother." ...
— Esther - A Book for Girls • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... novelty that is very pleasing. You would like a drawing-room in the latter style that I fancied and have been executing at Mr. Rigby's, in Essex. it has large and Very fine Indian landscapes, with a black fret round them, and round the whole entablature of the room, and all the ground or hanging is of pink paper. While I was there, we had eight of the hottest days that ever were felt; they say, some degrees beyond the ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 • Horace Walpole

... puppy, and Storm, and baby Kitty, and everything. I've never been away before.—You won't take off your winter flannels till the frost is out of the ground, will you? Promise me! And don't try to find me, because I don't want to be found. Only don't let mother fret about me. I shall think about you always, ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... have been more useful in some kind of a cabinet in the old settler's cabin, but we needn't to fret about it any." ...
— The Adventures of Uncle Jeremiah and Family at the Great Fair - Their Observations and Triumphs • Charles McCellan Stevens (AKA 'Quondam')

... can banish from our faith all its man made littleness, all its chaos of bickerings, all the fret of the conflicting opinions of those who, after all, are themselves but children searching after truth, and give to the growing girl, a growing religion, the God of the Universe will become her God and she will worship him in sincerity and truth all ...
— The Girl and Her Religion • Margaret Slattery

... to pine and fret myself to death? I feel suffocated whenever I am in a town. I cannot hold out for more than a day, in Grenoble, when ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... "Don't fret yourself, old fellow," replied my husband. "That's my wife's little flutter. Dare say the poor fool has had to promise her priest to make me ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... "You fret against the common law," I said. "You rebel against the voice of God, which He has made so winning to convince, so imperious to command. Hear it, and how it speaks between us! Your hand clings to mine, your heart leaps at my touch, the unknown elements of which ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "that I have rank and honour in reality, if I am to live an obscure prisoner, without either society or observance, and suffering in my character, as one of dubious or disgraced reputation? I care not for all those strings of pearl, which you fret me by warping into my tresses, Janet. I tell you that at Lidcote Hall, if I put but a fresh rosebud among my hair, my good father would call me to him, that he might see it more closely; and the kind old curate would smile, and Master Mumblazen would say something about roses gules. And now ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... the dumps and fret and fume and wish you were dead, just stop right there and tell yourself that you are a liar. You do not wish anything of the kind. I heard of a man once who was always threatening to commit suicide. He had a good friend who was a pious ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... their studies, the different allotted hours, some to play, some to work. She spoke in a courteous but decided tone, showing that she was the unmistakable mistress of the house and children, and meant to be. Never had Lady Isabel felt her position so keenly—never did it so gall and fret her spirit; but she bowed to meek obedience. A hundred times that day did she yearn to hold the children to her heart, and a hundred times she had to repress ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... without lifting his eyes. "Yea, and when I have hearkened carefully, the words seemed cold and lifeless, and intended for another and a lesser grief than mine. Remove the book," he added, in a tone of sullen bitterness. "I have no part in its consolations, and they do but fret my sorrow ...
— Bible Stories and Religious Classics • Philip P. Wells

... you think because we said all this that we didn't go to the Ervengs'; well, we did, the whole four of us, and that very afternoon. Though we fret and fume over things beforehand, we generally end by doing just as papa says about them. One reason for this is that, when it comes to the point, none of us are willing to tell him that we won't obey. Papa's very gentle, but he expects ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

... may here be given of the coarseness with which Dekker pays back Jonson for his personal allusions. In The Poetaster, Crispinus is told that his 'satin-sleeve begins to fret at the rug that is underneath it.' In Satiromastix, Tucca cries out against Horace (Jonson):—'Thou never yet fel'st into the hands of sattin.' And again:—'Thou borrowedst a gowne of Roscius the stager, and sentest it home lousie.' Crispinus, in The Poetaster, is derided ...
— Shakspere And Montaigne • Jacob Feis

... lay motionless in the snow on the forest's edge, and Geraldine was beginning to fret at the prospect of her being too benumbed by the cold to use her rifle, when Duane touched her on the arm and drew her attention ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... I must lie, who love the truth, (And honour bids me lie), I'll tell a lordly lie forsooth To be remembered by. If I must cheat, whose fame is fair, And fret my fame away, I'll do worse than the devil dare That ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

... indicated in these articles you find that the pieces do not exactly fit to form a square, you may be certain that the fault is entirely your own. Either your cross was not exactly drawn, or your cuts were not made quite in the right directions, or (if you used wood and a fret-saw) your saw was not sufficiently fine. If you cut out the puzzles in paper with scissors, or in cardboard with a penknife, no material is lost; but with a saw, however fine, there is a certain loss. In the ...
— Amusements in Mathematics • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... soothe. The train goes swiftly, but not half swiftly enough. We pass town and hamlet. Advertisement hoardings, grotesque flat images of cows, outrageous commendations of whisky or pills, appear in the fields. We are getting near London. Pipes are laid by. We fidget and fret. The houses we pass are closer together, get closer still, merge into a sea of grey-slated roofs. The air is thick, smoke-laden. The train slows down, stops, starts again, draws up finally by the ...
— A Padre in France • George A. Birmingham

... thought it for weeks, and now you say it. I've knowed it all along. I'm just an encumbrance, and the sooner you're shut of me the better, says you. You needn't to fret. I'll be soon out of it; out of it—out there, alongside ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... 'I ain't a-goin' to get married, don't you fret yourself about that; I know you're a judge of these things. Order in your pipe and I'll read ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... him curiously. "We aren't that much out of the woods," he remarked; "the other gang'll get in their work, don't you fret." ...
— The Claim Jumpers • Stewart Edward White

... fret and worry?" she said, answering, rather, the objections of her own mind than addressing herself to M. de Tregars. "Things are just as they are, ...
— Other People's Money • Emile Gaboriau

... in great pain; "I must, because to me with my work it is what does not trouble, what gives me sympathy, that is the most large of all. I have never marry because I know that so well. How could I ever do my work if a single discord is there to fret—fret—fret? As well ask me to play in concert on an untuned instrument. To my ear the untune is agony; to my music, a discord in my day is death to what would have been written that day. It is so that I have come to expect to never marry. ...
— A Woman's Will • Anne Warner

... all along the line of street, until the carriage came nearly opposite the entrance gate of the Alameda, still going slowly; at which the pampered, high-spirited horses seemed to chafe and fret. Just then, however, they showed a determination to change the pace, or at all events the direction, by making a sudden start and shy to the right; which carried the off wheels nearly nave-deep into the ridge of mud recently thrown ...
— The Free Lances - A Romance of the Mexican Valley • Mayne Reid

... impervious to the shocks and mutations of time—it was an emblem of time itself: slow, regular, perpetual; unwitting of the passions that fret themselves around—of the wear and tear of mortality. The poor tortoise! nothing less than the bursting of volcanoes, the convulsions of the riven world, could have quenched its sluggish spark! The inexorable Death, that spared not ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... simplest and sweetest ones; but harmonies, complications, oratorios in words, never. (I do not speak this in any deprecatory sense. Blessed be the memory of the warm-hearted Scotchman for what he has left us, just as it is!) He likewise did not know himself, in more ways than one. Though so really fret and independent, he prided himself in his songs on being a reactionist and a Jacobite—on persistent sentimental adherency to the cause of the Stuarts—the weakest, thinnest, most faithless, brainless dynasty ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... nigger; the supposed illegitimate daughter of Adelbert Beaucaire, and a slave woman. There is no reason why I should fret about her, is there? She is my property already by law." He laughed again, the same ugly sneering laugh of triumph, "That was why I was so particular about the wording of that bill of sale—I would rather have her than the ...
— The Devil's Own - A Romance of the Black Hawk War • Randall Parrish

... Stannard led the way up to the Children's Ward, a white-capped nurse came forward between the rows of little beds each with its child occupant, her finger on her lips. "He is so much weaker to-day," she explained, "I would say he had better not see any one, except that he will fret, so please stay only a few moments," and she led them to where Joey lay, his white bed shut off from his little neighbors by a screen. His eyes were closed and a young resident physician was standing ...
— The Angel of the Tenement • George Madden Martin

... cooler measure of fellowship and party affiliation which came to me in Berlin may be called an intimate relationship compared with intercourse here, which is, in fact, nothing more than mutual mistrust and espionage, if there only were anything to spy out or to conceal! The people toil and fret over nothing but mere trifles, and these diplomats, with their consequential hair-splitting, already seem to me more ridiculous than the Member of the Second Chamber in the consciousness of his dignity. If foreign events do not take place, and those we over-smart Diet people can neither ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... his breakfast table at Woburn Abbey. What would all Mr. Applegath's machinery do towards producing the newspaper without the aid of short-hand, which makes its expedition second only to thought. Half an hour's delay of "the paper" makes us fret and fume and condemn the fair provider of our breakfast—for over-roasted coffee and stale eggs—all because the paper is not "come;" but when would it come without short-hand? why at dinner-time, and that would make short work of a day—for thousands cannot set to work till they have consulted ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 12, Issue 346, December 13, 1828 • Various

... spoken of it, but I lost my temper. Still, it is pleasant to speak the truth sometimes. Goodbye, my own, my darling, my sweet little comforter! I will come to you soon—yes, I will certainly come to you. Until I do so, do not fret yourself. With me I shall be bringing a book. Once more ...
— Poor Folk • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... left in his prison to fret in idleness, but towards the afternoon he was called by his friend the ex-runner to go out to ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... whole system. You have, indeed, winged ministers of vengeance, who carry your bolts to the remotest verges of the sea. But there a power stops, that limits the arrogance of raging passions, and says, 'Hitherto shalt thou go, and no further.' Who are you, that should fret, and rage, and bite the chains of nature? Nothing worse happens to you than to all nations possessing extensive empire; and it happens in all the forms into which empire can be thrown. In large bodies the circulation of power must be less vigorous at the extremities. Nature has said ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... much to fret about, now, have these old windows; and that makes us think whether the larmiers of the roof over them do ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 2, No. 29, October 15, 1870 • Various

... so crossed as I am[?] everything conspiring to fret me! I had not been involved in matrimony a fortnight[,] before her Father—a hale and hearty man, died on purpose, I believe— for the Pleasure of plaguing me with the care of his Daughter . . . but here ...
— The School For Scandal • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... of the tenants to pay any rent. That she had always heard. She was quite sure that this man was some person laying a claim to it, and threatening to prosecute his claim at law. It was a thousand pities that her brother should allow such a trifle as this,—for after all it was but a trifle, to fret his spirits and worry him in this way. But it was the wretched state of his health: were he once himself again, all such annoyances as that would pass him ...
— Castle Richmond • Anthony Trollope

... the connection had been cut off, and it took quite ten minutes to get on again, and by that time I could have yelled aloud with the feverish fret of ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... those who profess to follow him he is already a hesitating and too cautious leader, and they fret under his coldness towards the millinery of the altar, and writhe under his refusal to accept the strange miracle of Transubstantiation—a miracle which, he has explained, I understand, demands a reversal of itself to account for the change which ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... many a curve my banks I fret, By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... read the psalm, 'Fret not thyself because of evil doers.' I think he picked it out on purpose; and then he prayed that we might all lead better lives, and live in Christian ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... I got all that old oak carvin' out of Bideford Church, when they were restoring it (Ruskin says that any man who'll restore a church is an unmitigated sweep), and stuck it up here with glue? Well, King came in and wanted to know whether we'd done it with a fret-saw! Yah! He is the ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... not vital. Even in case I am missing an important engagement I may modify the dominance of the thought by reflecting that I cannot expect to be wholly immune from the misfortunes of mankind; it is due me, at least once in a lifetime, to miss an important engagement,—why fret because this happens to be the appointed time? Why not occupy my thoughts more profitably than in rehearsing the varied features of this ...
— Why Worry? • George Lincoln Walton, M.D.

... deg.13 Children's voices should be dear (Call once more) to a mother's ear; 15 Children's voices, wild with pain— Surely she will come again! Call her once and come away; This way, this way! "Mother dear, we cannot stay! 20 The wild white horses foam and fret." ...
— Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustum and Other Poems • Matthew Arnold

... perhaps. Can I help being blind? You fret because you want to be gadding about—with a helpless man left all alone at home. Your own ...
— One Day More - A Play In One Act • Joseph Conrad

... the stars move in the wide clear heavens to risings and settings unobscured. They look large and near and palpitant; as if they moved on some stately service not needful to declare. Wheeling to their stations in the sky, they make the poor world-fret of no account. Of no account you who lie out there watching, nor the lean coyote that stands off in the scrub from ...
— The Land of Little Rain • Mary Austin

... each a bit of red velvet between them and the oak of the cabinet. One sees this on Gothic chests in England and occasionally on the antique furniture of other countries. The red material stretched back of the metal fret-work, is said to be a souvenir of the gruesome custom prevailing in ancient times, of warning off invaders by posting on the doors of public buildings, the skin of prisoners of war, and holding it in place with open-work metal, through which the ...
— The Art of Interior Decoration • Grace Wood

... old Dame Trot with a basket of eggs, He used his pipe, she used her legs. She danced, he piped, the eggs were all broke; Dame Trot began to fret, Tom laughed at ...
— A History of Nursery Rhymes • Percy B. Green

... 'Niver fret thyself, mother, about t' shirt,' said Philip. 'If I need a shirt, London's not what I take it for if I can't buy mysel' ...
— Sylvia's Lovers, Vol. II • Elizabeth Gaskell

... jealousy shot through me. It has been observed by La Rochefoucauld that it is astonishing how cheerfully we bear the ills of others; he might well have added that, on the other hand, it is remarkable how we fret over the happiness of our neighbours. I envied Daker when I saw him drive away to the station with the gentle girl at his side; I knew that she was nestling against him, and half her illness was only an excuse to get nearer to his heart. ...
— The Cockaynes in Paris - 'Gone abroad' • Blanchard Jerrold

... few days there was so much to do that she had no time to fret; in fact, she even found a certain pleasure in making her new home pretty, for all the time she was working she thought that her son would one day come and live there. The tapestry from her bedroom at Les Peuples was hung in the dining-room, which was also to serve as drawing-room, and Jeanne ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... perceive to have been of no real significance even in their day. We read on with a good-natured pity, akin to the feeling which the gods of Epicurus might be supposed to experience when they looked down upon foolish mortals,—and when we shut the book, go out into our own world to fret, fume, and wrangle over things equally transitory ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... brother, the blessed God above Can't have from us all an equal love. One prays for the sun, at which t'other will fret One is for dry weather-t'other for wet. What you, now, regard as with misery rife, Is to me the unclouded sun of life. If 'tis at the cost of the burgher and boor, I really am sorry that they must endure; But how can I help it? Here, you must know, 'Tis just like a cavalry ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... appearance, some of it having the characteristic surface finish and color of the Rio Grande ware. A small amount of ancient pottery also occurs here, some of the fragments of black and white ware displaying intricate fret patterns. The quantity of these potsherds is quite small, and they occur mainly in the refuse heaps on ...
— A Study of Pueblo Architecture: Tusayan and Cibola • Victor Mindeleff and Cosmos Mindeleff

... I," said Frank; "it almost made me cry to hear the poor birds fret so. When I took it away, one of them flow close around my head, and when I ran on to get away from it, I hit my foot against a stone, and stumbled down, and I am afraid I hurt the bird. All the way across the meadow, I could hear the old ...
— Frank and Fanny • Mrs. Clara Moreton

... speak much during their dinner. After it was over she helped him to walk about a little, but he was not able for much and soon got tired. He did not get fretful, though. He was too glad of having the sun and the wind again, to fret because he could not run about. He lay down on the dry sand, and his mother covered him with a shawl. She then sat by his side, and took a bit of work from her pocket. But Diamond felt rather sleepy, and turned on his side and gazed sleepily over the ...
— At the Back of the North Wind • George MacDonald

... like one decrepit with age. His teeth will chatter and his whole frame tremble. Of course, very different reflections will be awakened in his mind. He will hurry back to the fireside, thinking winter a very dismal season, and will be apt to fret himself and all about him, because of the confinement from which he has not ...
— Popular Education - For the use of Parents and Teachers, and for Young Persons of Both Sexes • Ira Mayhew

... since. I regret that I have not more cheerful news to write you than I have. Financially the Grant family is ruined for the present, and by the most stupendous frauds ever perpetrated. But your Aunt Jennie must not fret over it. I still have a home and as long as I live she shall enjoy it as a matter of right; at least until she recovers what she has lost. Fred is young, active, honest, and intelligent, and will work with a vim to recuperate his losses. Of course his first effort ...
— Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, - 1857-78 • Ulysses S. Grant

... 'Don't fret your eyelids on that score,' said the young gentleman. 'I've got to be in London to-night; and I know a 'spectable old gentleman as lives there, wot'll give you lodgings for nothink, and never ask for the change—that is, if any genelman he knows interduces ...
— Oliver Twist • Charles Dickens

... understand why, but Mrs. Jo did, and, knowing the natural perversity of the human mind, counted on it to help her now. She felt instinctively that the more the boy was restrained the more he would fret against it; but leave him free, and the mere sense of liberty would content him, joined to the knowledge that his presence was dear to those whom he loved best. It was a little experiment, but it succeeded, for Dan stood silent a moment, unconsciously picking the fan ...
— Little Men - Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... happiness consist then in possession Easy to understand what we like to hear Eros mocks all human efforts to resist or confine him Eyes are much more eloquent than all the tongues in the world Folly to fret over what cannot be undone For the errors of the wise the remedy is reparation, not regret Go down into the grave before us (Our children) Greeks have not the same reverence for truth Happiness has nothing to do with our outward circumstances ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... this artifice, he had never been able to get the girl; for he hath loved her and had a mind to take her this long while, but he was hindered of that talisman; and had it remained as it was, he could never have found access to her. However, fret not thyself for that; we will bring thee to her and kill the Marid; for thy kindness is not lost upon us.' Then he cried out with a terrible outcry"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... the Gruff," cried Alric, laughing, as he leaped to the other side of a mass of fallen rock; "but if thy humour changes not, I will show thee that I am not named Lightfoot for nothing. Come, don't fume and fret there like a bear with a headache, but let me speak, and I warrant me thou wilt ...
— Erling the Bold • R.M. Ballantyne

... with the eruptive vision of Mountain Lad, majestic and mighty, the gnat-creature of a man upon his back absurdly small; his eyes wild and desirous, with the blue sheen that surfaces the eyes of stallions; his mouth, flecked with the froth and fret of high spirit, now brushed to burnished knees of impatience, now tossed skyward to utterance of that vast, compelling call ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... way with all young men, marm. I always sez to ma she needn't fret her gizzard. Young men will sow their wild oats. Oh, 'tain't nothin'. Mr. Newt knows that werry well. Every ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... we? Make us stronger yet; Great? Make us greater far; Our feet antarctic oceans fret, Our crown the polar star: Round Earth's wild coasts our batteries speak, Our highway is the main, We stand as guardian of the weak, We burst ...
— The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book • Various

... sleep in an adjoining apartment. Even this nominal confinement, however, Galileo's high spirit was unable to brook. An attack of the disease to which he was constitutionally subject contributed to fret and irritate him, and he became impatient for a release from his anxiety as well as from his bondage. Cardinal Barberino seems to have received notice of the state of Galileo's feelings, and, with a magnanimity ...
— The Martyrs of Science, or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler • David Brewster

... was funny what had happened to him. He didn't crack a smile the whole blame night. He just would shake his head, and bite his lips, And gosh, the way his eyes was shootin' fire. The last thing that he said before I left, "By God, I'll get back at 'em, you just wait! I'm closing here. But don't you fret—I'll get 'em— The dirty, pussy-footin' ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... light, ceas'd the chiming Of their angelic bells; methought I heard The murmuring of a river, that doth fall From rock to rock transpicuous, making known The richness of his spring-head: and as sound Of cistern, at the fret-board, or of pipe, Is, at the wind-hole, modulate and tun'd; Thus up the neck, as it were hollow, rose That murmuring of the eagle, and forthwith Voice there assum'd, and thence along the beak Issued in form of words, such ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... say? I fret over perversity enough in silence. May my tongue wither, if I remain mute to-day. Good God! child, are you out of your senses? Everything has been crammed into your poor head, but to be sure it isn't written in the books, that when people find out what happened in Porto, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers



Words linked to "Fret" :   sweat, get at, provide, annoy, honeycomb, rust, architectural ornament, spot, gravel, constrict, pother, dapple, scruple, speckle, contact, press, rile, fleck, decorate, furnish, adjoin, bother, beautify, dither, touch, embellish, irritate, squeeze, nettle, compact, fuss, corrode, agitation, render, supply, compress, stew, meet, contract, devil, nark, vex, grace, worry, bar, chafe, patch, carve, rag, get to, ornament, adorn, damage, maculation, flap, wash, handicraft



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