This is an excerpt from the Longman Dictionary Of Contemporary English.

freak out

phrasal verb informal
to become very anxious, upset, or afraid, or make someone very anxious, upset, or afraid

People just freaked out when they heard the news.

freak somebody out

The whole idea freaked me out.

I'm curious whether freak out has the meaning of "make somebody angry"?

  • 1
    What is the source of "make somebody angry"?
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 5:08
  • 1
    The answer to whether freak out has the meaning of "make somebody angry is No.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 5:10
  • 1
    The definition does not say angry, does it?
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 18:59

5 Answers 5


To "freak somebody out" is to startle or upset or scare them. They can get angry as a consequence, but that is not the direct meaning.

You really freaked me out when you told me the tests showed you had cancer. I'm glad it turned out to be a false positive.

You really freaked me out when you lied to me about the test showing I had cancer. Did you think that was funny, you jerk?

Both first sentences use "freaked out" to express consternation. But the consequences are different in each.


The confusion can come by the fact that upset could be synonym with angry in some case. But in this context, upset takes the meaning of distressed.

Freaking out is more expressing some kind of irrational fear or distress, to the point of not acting like one usually do.


to "freak someone out" does not directly imply that you make someone angry. This idiom usually means to scare them, cause them to be frightened, stressed, or anxious. There is an explanation here: http://www.theenglishstudent.com/1/post/2013/10/scared-try-using-these-three-idioms.html

  • Check your capitalization along with punctuation, spellings and all other such things before posting an answer. Remember this is an English language site for advanced users.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 5:07

When used in the sense "I freaked her out", I can only see it having the "distressed" meaning only.

But "She freaked out on me" does have a sense of being angry. It still carries the "upset" meaning in the definition, but the line between upset and angry here feels thinner. It doesn't mean "acted in an unusual way" although that is true. I think there's some connotation of "was showing anger."

(My perception might be swayed by blue/black vs. gold/white dress-color debates going on social media.)

  • Yes, yes, yes,distressed.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 18:58

The confusion of anger being part of the definition is from Webster's definition who lists anger as one of the intense states of emotion of freaking out. Which is different from being freaked out, not freaking out. One being present tense the other past tense


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