Etymology
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frightening (adj.)

1715, present-participle adjective from frighten (v.). Related: Frighteningly.

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Definitions of frightening
1
frightening (n.)
the act of inspiring with fear;
Synonyms: terrorization / terrorisation
2
frightening (adj.)
causing fear or dread or terror;
Synonyms: awful / dire / direful / dread / dreaded / dreadful / fearful / fearsome / horrendous / horrific / terrible
From wordnet.princeton.edu