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Fret   Listen
noun
Fret  n.  
1.
Ornamental work in relief, as carving or embossing. See Fretwork.
2.
(Arch.) An ornament consisting of small fillets or slats intersecting each other or bent at right angles, as in classical designs, or at oblique angles, as often in Oriental art. "His lady's cabinet is a adorned on the fret, ceiling, and chimney-piece with... carving."
3.
The reticulated headdress or net, made of gold or silver wire, in which ladies in the Middle Ages confined their hair. "A fret of gold she had next her hair."
Fret saw, a saw with a long, narrow blade, used in cutting frets, scrolls, etc.; a scroll saw; a keyhole saw; a compass saw.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fret" Quotes from Famous Books



... 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

... harm done, when you suppose that you have the means, and intend to pay; so don't lay that to heart. That you would give your right hand not to have done so, as things have turned out, I really believe; but, however, there is no occasion to fret any more about it. I have received three years' pay, and the prize-money for the last eighteen months, and there is still some more due, for a French privateer. Altogether it amounts to L250, which I had intended to have made over to my father, now that he is on a lee-shore; ...
— The Settlers in Canada • Frederick Marryat

... 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 pomp or beauty, passed unheedingly ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... sailed through banks of green, Where the wild waves fret and quiver; And we've down the Danube been— The dark, deep, thundering river! We've thridded the Elbe and Rhone, The Tiber and blood dyed Seine, And we've been where the blue Garonne Goes laughing ...
— Views a-foot • J. Bayard Taylor

... do fret a body so," Margaret put in. "You would lead us to think you never met a woman befo'. Why, thar air lots o' women up here—can't talk silk and braid and plush, but they know how to ...
— The Starbucks • Opie Percival Read

... fever, nor fret about him; but instead, cheerfulness, patience and unfailing perseverance. His mind, amidst all his sufferings, remained perfectly calm and serene. He went about his daily work with an apparently charmed life, as if he had the strength of many men ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon

... building and Miss 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

... Pedro to-morrow, and catch the morning boat," was the reply. "We want to wind up our business with Lopez and clear out before Hill discovers that letter is a fake and gets back from San Diego. We can turn the trick with ground to spare—don't fret about that." ...
— Owen Clancy's Happy Trail - or, The Motor Wizard in California • Burt L. Standish

... "I guess we'll be in time to stop him," he reassured her. "Don't you fret." And then, as the boat bumped against the bank, ...
— Peggy Raymond's Vacation - or Friendly Terrace Transplanted • Harriet L. (Harriet Lummis) Smith

... "Don't fret about that," said the other. "I know a 'spectable old genelman as lives there wot'll give you lodgings for nothing ...
— Tales from Dickens • Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives

... am. Were my husband not still living it would be the same. I should never under any circumstances marry again. I have passed the period of a woman's life when as a woman she is loved; but I have not outlived the power of loving. I shall fret about you, Phineas, like an old hen after her one chick; and though you turn out to be a duck, and get away into waters where I cannot follow you, I shall go cackling round the pond, and always have my eye upon you." He was holding her ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... of that when it comes," said Simon: "fretting never propped a house yet; and if it did, I would rather see it fall than fret." ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth

... "Never ye fret about me, Thirkle. I turned a couple of tricks afore ever I crossed yer bows, lay to that. I ain't the dog of a sailor ye take me for. I was a gent once, and I'll be a gent again, and no thanks to ye, Thirkle. It don't ...
— The Devil's Admiral • Frederick Ferdinand Moore

... "Don't fret yourself, my son. We've bought the gun all right; an' the next time we meet, you can hand it over. I wish our pile had been bigger so's we could have given twenty, 'cause a kid ...
— Dick in the Desert • James Otis

... 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 ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... near.) Do not go fret after her, McDonough. She could not go through the world forever, and travelling the world. It might be ...
— New Irish Comedies • Lady Augusta Gregory

... thus, saieth he? Shall wee bee thus beguiled, sayeth this man? shulde this be suffered, saieth that man? And so muttrynge and chydyng, they came to the gate to goe oute; but they coulde not. For it was faste lockt, and Qualitees had the key away with him. Now begynne they a freshe to fret and fume: nowe they swere and stare: now they stampe and threaten: for the locking in greeued them more than all the losse and mockery before: but all auayle not. For there muste they abide, till wayes may be founde to open the gate, that ...
— Shakespeare Jest-Books; - Reprints of the Early and Very Rare Jest-Books Supposed - to Have Been Used by Shakespeare • Unknown

... "Don't you fret about them," he said. "They're as dead as they can be, all of 'em, and in purgatory or a worse place, and you can't get 'em out no matter how hard you pray. Come on; let's ...
— The Italian Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... Son shall put you in the way." Which offer I most kindly took, And for a Seat did round me look; When presently amongst the rest, He plac'd his unknown English Guest, Who found them drinking for a whet, A Cask of (h) Syder on the Fret, Till Supper came upon the Table, On which I fed whilst I was able. So after hearty Entertainment, Of Drink and Victuals without Payment; For Planters Tables, you must know, Are free for all that come and go. While (i) ...
— The Sot-weed Factor: or, A Voyage to Maryland • Ebenezer Cook

... jes' my style o' weather—sunshine floodin' all the place, An' the breezes from the eastward blowin' gently on my face. An' the woods chock-full o' singin' till you'd think birds never had A single care to fret 'em or a grief to make 'em sad. Oh, I settle down contented in the shadow of a tree, An' tell myself right proudly that the day was ...
— All That Matters • Edgar A. Guest

... can I tell you how mad the king was, when he saw the hare that the Gubbaun had made av him, and how he wouldn't spake a word all day, but cursin'. However, next mornin' he considered that after all it was useless to fret, and that no time must be lost, or he'd lose ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 5 November 1848 • Various

... and fret not yourselves; else shall you be moved to do evil. Remember the saying of the wise man—"Go not after the world. She turns on her axis; and if thou stand still long enough, she will turn round ...
— Westminster Sermons - with a Preface • Charles Kingsley

... all fused in a fine oval; and the modelling of the features was intensely and passionately expressive. That indeed was at once the distinction and, so to speak, the terror of the face,—its excessive, abnormal individualism, its surplus of expression. A woman to fret herself and others to decay—a woman, to burn up her own life, and that of her lover, her husband, her child. Only physical weakness had at last set bounds to what had ...
— Helena • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... may sink and settle, other loves may loose and slack, But I wander like a minstrel with a harp upon his back, Though the harp be on my bosom, though I finger and I fret, Still, my hope is all before me: for ...
— Poems • G.K. Chesterton

... us would be rich, and then we should feel like the rich, and want to keep what we could. But as we have to labor hard for a little joy, it's best to get the joy, as much as you can, and not fret over ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... shall fret so, if I see you fretting. And to fret will kill me, mother. They have always told ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... and Tartar fume, Barbarian 'gainst barbarian set, Or how our politic prophets fret, When on this tapestry-thyme and heath, Fresh work of Nature's loom, Thus, thus, we can diffuse ourselves, ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... no longer. Ha, ha, ha! If either them kids tries to ride Beelzy—Hmm. But Chiquita, now, she's little but she's great. Pa and Matt claim she's worth her weight in gold. She's likely, anyway. An' don't fret, lady. They'll all be home to breakfast, an' seein's I've got that to cook, I'll hump myself to bed and advisin' you to do the same. If not, make yourselves comfortable's ...
— Dorothy on a Ranch • Evelyn Raymond

... fret of reefs precipices towered in pinnacles two thousand feet high. Through the reefs the doomed ship stole like a hunted thing. Only one man kept his head clear and his hand to the helm—the lieutenant whom all the rest had thrown out of the cabin. The island seemed absolutely treeless, ...
— Pioneers of the Pacific Coast - A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters • Agnes C. Laut

... now in common use has been gathered from the dust-bin of the ages. What ornamental motif of any universality, worth, or importance is less than a hundred years old? We continue to use the honeysuckle, the acanthus, the fret, the egg and dart, not because they are appropriate to any use we put them to, but because they are beautiful per se. Why are they beautiful? It is not because they are highly conventionalized representations of natural forms which are themselves beautiful, but because they express cosmic truths. ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... he, "don't think I envy you; on the contrary, I am as grateful, even more grateful than if such good fortune had fallen to my own lot; but I cannot help fretting at the thought of being left here without you: and I shall fret until I am ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... this exceptional occasion I venture to advise you. Let none know I am here. In the present disturbed condition of affairs there must be almost as many hidden forces existing in Delgratz as there are men in the Cabinet. Why permit them to fret and fume when you alone have power to control them? I promise faithfully to abide by the decision of the Assembly. Should it favor me, your position is consolidated; should it prove adverse to my cause, ...
— A Son of the Immortals • Louis Tracy

... and ever-changing waves, Sad rains that fret the sea and drown the day, We hail,—well pleased that stricken Autumn raves, Though not with Winter shall ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... see, are soone defaced, Mettles doe waste and fret with cankers rust; The Diamond shall once consume to dust, And freshest colours with foule staines disgraced. Paper and yncke can paynt but naked words, To write with blood of force offends the sight, And if with teares, ...
— Minor Poems of Michael Drayton • Michael Drayton

... dangers, only to succumb to the ills and privations of camp life. Cuban equipment was of the scantiest. Cuban dews are heavy; Cuban nights are cool—these were perils indeed for a weak-lunged invalid. Branch began to fret. Rain filled him with more terror than fixed bayonets, a chill caused him keener consternation than did a thousand Spaniards; he began to have agonizing visions of himself lying in some leaky hovel of a hospital. It was typical of his peculiar irritability ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... will make your mother sorry, and she will fret about it," Flora had said; and at this Sylvia had decided that no matter what happened at school she would not tell her mother about it. She almost dreaded seeing Elinor again, and wondered why Elinor's mother had not wanted Miss Patten to ...
— Yankee Girl at Fort Sumter • Alice Turner Curtis

... seen traces of her getting things fixed for the summer. 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 comic-opera ...
— The Cords of Vanity • James Branch Cabell et al

... you must be careful and not get anxious or excited. Keep quite calm and don't fret about anything. Of course things can't go just as if you were downstairs; and I wondered whether you knew your little Billy was sailing about in a tub on the mill pond, and that your little Sammy 5 was letting your little Jimmy ...
— Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year • E.C. Hartwell

... laws we cannot. If we women could inaugurate a gigantic strike against the present method of bearing children—and I imagine that millions would join such a strike if it held out any promise of success!—we still could accomplish nothing. To fret ourselves into a frazzle over it, is to accomplish less than nothing;—it is to enter upon the ...
— Study of Child Life • Marion Foster Washburne

... give all your attention to that child—there, there is the whistle now! Ten to one I shall be late, and all your fault, forcing me to talk instead of allowing me to eat. Hand me my valise—there, good-by and don't fret," and, rushing away, he gave no kiss to little Johnny, whom he was never more to behold; no kiss to Althea, whom he was indeed to meet again, to meet again and soon; but a gulf between him and her, ...
— Hubert's Wife - A Story for You • Minnie Mary Lee

... pluck about him as he has. He'll do all right if he doesn't fret himself into a fever about ...
— Jackanapes, Daddy Darwin's Dovecot and Other Stories • Juliana Horatio Ewing

... great bow of Odysseus, in the pride of his might and of his strength of arm, that he will lead me to his home and make me his wife? Nay he himself, methinks, has no such hope in his breast; so, as for that, let not any of you fret himself while feasting in this ...
— DONE INTO ENGLISH PROSE • S. H. BUTCHER, M.A.

... deserved, as one equal to an elevated social position, and deserving it. "But if you ask me my opinion, sir," he continued, "I do not think, except for Bertram's sake, that you have any cause to fret yourself. The family wish her to marry her cousin, the eldest son of the Prince of Samos. It is an alliance of the highest, and suits them much better than any connection with us. Besides, Cantacuzene will give his children large ...
— Lothair • Benjamin Disraeli

... indifferent, too, as to whether it turns around or stands still. They have nothing to do but eat and sleep and sleep and eat, and toil a little when they can get a friend to stand by and keep them awake. They are not paid for thinking —they are not paid to fret about the world's concerns. They were not respectable people—they were not worthy people—they were not learned and wise and brilliant people—but in their breasts, all their stupid lives long, resteth a peace that passeth understanding! How can men, calling ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... at the speaker. My eyes before they could meet hers, were caught by an apparition the most beautiful I had ever yet beheld. And what—what—have I seen equal to her since? Strange, that I should love to talk of her. Strange, that I fret at myself now because I cannot set down on paper line by line, and hue by hue, that wonderful loveliness of which—. But no matter. Had I but such an imagination as Petrarch, or rather, perhaps, had I his deliberate cold self-consciousness, ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... prodigious scarcity of wit Did the new authors starve the hungry pit! Infected by the French, you must have rhyme, Which long to please the ladies' ears did chime. Soon after this came ranting fustian in, And none but plays upon the fret were seen, Such daring bombast stuff which fops would praise, Tore our best actors' lungs, cut short their days. Some in small time did this distemper kill; And had the savage authors gone on still, Fustian had been a new disease i' ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... all the day. If we are as clever as Hamlet, we grow just as philosophically disappointed. If we love, we can only be sure of a brief pleasure—an April day. Love has its bitterness. "It is," says Ovid, an adept in the matter, "full of anxious fear." We fret and fume at the authority of the wise heads; we have an intense idea of our own talent. We believe calves of our own age to be as big and as valuable as full-grown bulls; we envy whilst we jest at the old. We cry, with the puffed-up ...
— Brave Men and Women - Their Struggles, Failures, And Triumphs • O.E. Fuller

... Jackson Wylie, Sr., was growing impatient. In spite of his son's weekly reports he had begun to fret at the indefinite nature of results up to date. This dissatisfaction it was that had induced him to cable his invitation to the Royal Commission to visit the Atlantic plant. Mr. Jackson Wylie, Sr., had a mysterious way of closing contracts once he came in ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... Faribole was plunged in the darkest despondency, and when the fatal hour sounded, he was assailed by the irresolutions of the previous day. When Mother Michel, before going out, said to him, "I leave Moumouth in your charge; you must take care of him, and make him play, so that he will not fret too much during my absence," the poor lad felt his heart fail, and his natural ...
— The Story of a Cat • mile Gigault de La Bdollire

... poet fell into bad company. He came home late one night. His father scolded: 'tis a porter's infirmity to fret at late-comers. Another night he came home later. The scolding became a philippic. Again he did not come home at all. His father ordered him never more to darken his doors. Murger took him at his word, and went to share ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... cultivated[7]. It was an undoubted proof of his good sense and good disposition, that he was never querulous, never prone to inveigh against the present times, as is so common when superficial minds are on the fret. On the contrary, he was willing to speak favourably of his own age; and, indeed, maintained its superiority[8] in every respect, except in its reverence for government; the relaxation of which he imputed, as its grand cause, to the shock which our monarchy received at the Revolution, ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... 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 I take ...
— The Country Doctor • Honore de Balzac

... are times When all this fret and tumult that we hear Do seem more stale than to the sexton's ear His ...
— Home Life of Great Authors • Hattie Tyng Griswold

... the glamourie They have stolen my wee brother, Housed a changeling in his swaddlings For to fret my own poor mother. Pules it in the candle light Wi' a cheek so lean and white, Chinkling up its eyne so wee Wailing shrill at her an' me. It we'll neither rock nor tend Till the Silent Silent send, Lapping in ...
— Peacock Pie, A Book of Rhymes • Walter de la Mare

... "Don't fret about such trifles," they said. "We will find you some place less cold and dismal than Mademoiselle Gamard's gloomy house. If we can't find anything you like, one or other of us will take you to live ...
— The Vicar of Tours • Honore de Balzac

... said Christopher, encouraged by the effect of his words, "and you begin to fret your poor little soul with all sorts of wild speculations. I wish to the Lord that your mother was a little bit more trusting with her confidences, but when it all comes out it'll prove to be some sister of your grandfather who married a tailor or something, and left a line ...
— The Beloved Woman • Kathleen Norris

... said Ursula, when Mark gave her the message, and from that moment she was calmer. She did not fret Mark with questions even as much as Annaple did, she tried to prevent her father from raging at the scant information, and she even endeavoured to employ herself with some of her ordinary occupations, though all the time she kept up the ceaseless watch. 'Mr. ...
— Nuttie's Father • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room; And hermits are contented with their cells; And students with their pensive citadels: Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom, Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom, High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells, Will murmur by the hour in foxglove ...
— Birds in the Bush • Bradford Torrey

... time. Seems like they fit every time they git a chance. Old Man Denman's boy gits kilt and two my sisters he property and they don't know what to do, 'cause they has to be somebody's property and they ain't no one to 'heritance 'em. They has to go to the auction but Old Man Denman say not to fret. At the auction the man say, 'Goin' high, goin' low, goin' mighty slow, a little while to go. Bid 'em in, bid 'em in. The sun am high, the sun am hot, us got to git home tonight.' An old friend of Old ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Texas Narratives, Part 1 • Works Projects Administration

... may do 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 to ...
— A Journal of the Swedish Embassy in the Years 1653 and 1654, Vol II. • Bulstrode Whitelocke

... despatched to the Netherlands. The minister was playing a bold, murderous, and treacherous game, and played it in a masterly manner. Escovedo was lured to his destruction, Don John was made to fret his heart away, and Philip—more deceived than all—was betrayed in what he considered his affections, and made the mere tool of a man as false as himself and infinitely ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... "Do not fret, darling. The woman has done it out of spite, no doubt; but she will not risk putting her neck in a noose, by harming the child. It is a terrible grief, but it will only be for a time. We are sure to ...
— For Name and Fame - Or Through Afghan Passes • G. A. Henty

... Emlyn, we who have got on a long while apart, had best stay so," answered Thomas calmly. "Yet, why you should fret because you must keep your tongue in its case for an hour, or because I asked leave to marry you in all honour, I do not know. I have worked my best for you and your mistress at some hazard, and things ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... without it. He was king of all Israel, and what was one small vineyard more or less to him? But prosperity had spoilt him; he must needs have every toy on which he set his heart, and he was weak enough to fret that he could not get more, when he had too much already. But he knew that he could not get it; that, king as he was, Naboth's property was his own, and that God's everlasting Law stood between him and the thing he coveted. Well for him if ...
— Sermons for the Times • Charles Kingsley

... the coals of a good fire still lingered, and with a clean cloth he washed my wound so gently that I scarcely could believe his great, coarse hands were actually at work on me. "Dah you is," he murmured, bending over the red, shallow gash that the bullet had cut, "dah you is. Don' you fret. Ah's gwine git you all tied up clean an' han'some, ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... clinging pathetically to that which gave her consolation and cheer. "I say to myself that it must have been some brain disease took her all of a sudden and made her crazy that-a-way; because God knows she had nothing to fret her nor drive ...
— The Power and the Glory • Grace MacGowan Cooke

... to fret and fume, Till Grief and Sorrow makes his Flesh consume Because his Wife in Actions may be light And to his Face will horn him Day and Night; This Comfort may alleviate his Woe, That Cuckold's without ...
— The Fifteen Comforts of Matrimony: Responses from Men • Various

... little person," he returned. "Scold not, nor fret. William will be himself again ere yet the morrow's sun shall clear the horizon. Let us avoid recrimination. The tongue is, or would seem to be, the most vital weapon of modern society. Therefore let us leave the trenchant blade quiescent in its scabbard. I'd ...
— North of Fifty-Three • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... that Birmingham was beginning to fret. They were crying out once more for free trade with America: European facilities were not enough, and it was Oliver's business to keep them quiet. It was useless, he proposed to tell them, to agitate until the Eastern business was settled: they must not ...
— Lord of the World • Robert Hugh Benson

... gone out, Marion spoke to David. "Do be sensible, sir," she said, "or the mistress will fret herself to death. Make some money to pay off your debts, and then you can try to find treasure at ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... London was the last place in the world that one would have imagined to be the scene of his activities: such a face surely could not be nourished amid smoke and mud and fog and dust; such an open countenance could never even have seen anything of 'the weariness, the fever, and the fret' of ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy

... do him justice, behaved with all imaginable tenderness and care; and his concern on these occasions I have already mentioned as a strange inconsistency in his disposition. If his actions were at all accountable, I should think he took pains to fret me into a fever first, in order to manifest his love and humanity afterwards. When I recovered my strength and spirits, I went abroad, saw company, and should have been easy, had he been contented; but as my satisfaction increased, his good-humour decayed, and he banished ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... it is thereby enabled to work the liquor clear; whereas in hot weather, the spirit quickly evaporates, leaving the wort vapid and flat, unable to work itself clear, but keeping continually on the fret, till totally spoiled. This is the obvious reason for the use of sugar, prepared for colour, because sugar will bear the heat better than malt; and when thoroughly prepared, possesses such a strong ...
— The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches, • Mary Eaton

... was rapidly 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 inevitable and speedy cure. Thus, wounds and shocks, that have often ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... know very well how you will fret and fume over what I say, and how utterly I shall fail in bringing you round to my way of thinking; but as I must write to tell you of my decision, I cannot refrain from defending myself to ...
— Phineas Finn - The Irish Member • Anthony Trollope

... his manner was. "Believe me, Katharine, before we came here we were perfectly happy. You were full of plans for our house—the chair-covers, don't you remember?—like any other woman who is about to be married. Now, for no reason whatever, you begin to fret about your feeling and about my feeling, with the usual result. I assure you, Katharine, I've been through it all myself. At one time I was always asking myself absurd questions which came to nothing either. What you want, if I ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... the feebleness of its power of portraiture. On the porch of a Northern cathedral we may seek for the images of the flowers that grow in the neighboring fields, and as we watch with wonder the gray stones that fret themselves into thorns, and soften into blossoms, we may care little that these knots of ornament, as we retire from them to contemplate the whole building, appear unconsidered or confused. On the incrusted building we must expect no such deception of the eye or thoughts. It ...
— Stones of Venice [introductions] • John Ruskin

... hours crept by, and day by day They watched the Potomac Army at bay. Defeat and defeat! It was here, just here, In the very height of the fret and fear, ...
— Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday • Various

... I thought that money was the thing I ought to get; And I fancied, once I had it, I should never have to fret. But I saw that I had wasted precious hours in seeking wealth; I had made a tidy fortune, but I couldn't buy her health. And I saw this truth much clearer than I'd ever seen before: That the rich man and the poor man have to let ...
— Just Folks • Edgar A. Guest

... observe in practice does suffice, for all reasonable persons. It may be said that one day the tree itself must die, and the leaves no longer live therein; and so, also, that the very God or Life of the World will one day perish, as all that is born must surely in the end die. But they who fret upon such grounds as this must be in so much want of a grievance that it were a cruelty to rob them of one: if a man who is fond of music tortures himself on the ground that one day all possible combinations and permutations of sounds will have been exhausted ...
— God the Known and God the Unknown • Samuel Butler

... way and another the troops became sources of irritation. The Patriots, mainly William Cooper, the town clerk, prepared a chronicle of this perpetual fret, which contains much curious matter obtained through access to authentic sources of information, private and official. This diary was first printed in New York, and reprinted in the newspapers of Boston and London, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862 • Various

... "Do not fret your pretty eyes over that pair of hypocrites in black, yonder," one of them exclaimed loudly and speaking directly at the Benedictines; "they are holy only in a crowd. If they met you when ...
— Beatrix of Clare • John Reed Scott

... so," answered Mary, dropping the leaf whose purplish brown she had been admiring; "but," after a moment's thoughtfulness, she added, quite cheerfully, "but, why should we fret about that; we can practice hard and write to each other every week; I dare say, just now, we might read each other's writing; it seems to me as if I would make out some meaning even in a straight mark ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... never a glimpse of land. More than once she made Joel bear the brunt of her own unrest; and because it is not always good for two people to be too much together, and because she had nothing better to do, she began to pick Joel to pieces in her thoughts, and fret at his patience and stolidity. She wished he would grow angry, wished even that he might be angry with her.... She wished for anything to break the long days of deadly calm. And she watched Joel more intently than ...
— All the Brothers Were Valiant • Ben Ames Williams

... most of the food of the people, must be a favorite science with many, and one that brought rich rewards. It was pleasing to see everything going on in such a quiet, orderly manner, and so many people at work without friction and with no look of fret, hurry, or fatigue. Everyone seemed to be enjoying his work, if that could be called work which ...
— Daybreak: A Romance of an Old World • James Cowan

... fret as I might, it was not possible to mend matters, and I stretched myself out at full length under the bushes, with the idea in mind that it would be better if we were captured at once, for then we would be spared just so much suspense, ...
— The Minute Boys of the Mohawk Valley • James Otis

... supper time. I should think he was safe to. I wonder if I could rub a little of that liniment onto my 'and myself. It do burn so; to think that jest a little thing of this sort should make me mis'rible. Talk of breed! I don't suppose I'm much, after all, or I'd not fret about a trifle of ...
— Good Luck • L. T. Meade

... to the ear, as it were, a sleep of music between the intenser interludes of the chorus; and the spectator without being drawn away by an imitative realism from the calm of impassioned contemplation into the fever and fret of a veritable actor on the scene, received an impression based throughout on that clear intellectual foundation, that almost prosaic lucidity of sentiment and plot, which is preserved to us in the written text, but raised by the accompanying appeal to the sense, ...
— The Greek View of Life • Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

... so you needn't fret about that, my hearty," answered Thorny, with a resounding slap on the shoulder which reassured Ben ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... were fundamental anxieties to fret one's heart, there were superficial irritations that ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... the 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 little hour, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... come, till he have left his theft and become a true man first. And he who gave this counsel knew well enough what he said, for it was our Saviour himself, who in the sixth chapter of St. Matthew saith, "Hoard not up your treasures in earth, where the rust and the moth fret it out and where thieves dig it out and steal it away. But hoard up your treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor the moth fret them out, and where thieves dig them not out nor steal them away. For where thy treasure is, there ...
— Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation - With Modifications To Obsolete Language By Monica Stevens • Thomas More

... with one of his awkward brief caresses. "Don't you fret about that, Leota. I'm bound to have her go round with these people she knows. I want her to be ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... that we are never to fret, never to grumble, never to scold, and yet it being our duty in some way to make known and get rectified the faults of others, it remains to ask how; and on this head we will improvise a parable of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 88, February, 1865 • Various

... him a bit of fish, and he didn't like that, or else it was too dear, and you know fish is dearer than ever; and then I got him a bit of German, and he said it rose on him; then I tried sausages, and he said they hit him in the eye worse even than German; oh! how I used to wander my room and fret about it inwardly and cry for hours, and all about them paltry breakfasts—and it wasn't Mr Pontifex; he'd like anything that anyone ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... The silence was full of strange, rushing noises, the rush of blood in David's head. He called again and again, but no reply came. Then he heard the rush and fret of many feet, the cry of a pack of hounds, a melancholy cry, with a sombre joy in it. He saw a light gleaming fitfully in the belt ...
— The Crimson Blind • Fred M. White

... said she, "that I do not approve of dwelling upon troubles. You know I never encourage my children to fret ...
— The Crofton Boys • Harriet Martineau

... halls were full of paintings and of songs of which I would never tire. Then, as evening closed in, and I would reluctantly turn back to my crowded quarters, the sordid streets and the cramped appearance of everything would fret me, and almost make me envious of the sparrow perched on the telegraph wire over my head. For he, at least, was lifted above this thoughtless, hurrying throng among which I was compelled to pass, and the piteous, supplicating voice of the blind ...
— The Love Story of Abner Stone • Edwin Carlile Litsey

... him curiously—the order and beauty of it, the signs of loving care. It gave him a key, he fancied, to the lives the cultured English led, for there was no sign of strain and fret and stress and hurry here. Everything, it seemed, went smoothly with rhythmic regularity, and though it is possible that a good many Englishmen would have regarded Garside Scar as a very second-rate country house, and seen ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... "it was ill-naturedly said; do not fret about it; you were not in the least to blame. I should not like you half so much—should not think nearly so well of you, if you had been willing to give up all your own people, to throw them lightly over, all of a sudden, for a comparative stranger, treble ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... well with me!" he said, pressing the hand of Manuel in his own, and releasing it again, "Do not fret, Angela,—it was the merest passing faintness. Forgive me, brother, for alarming you thus foolishly! As for the letter from the Vatican concerning this miracle, I must needs present myself before His Holiness and assure him that ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... and Jonathan forget, The scar of anger's wound to fret, And smile to think of an ancient feud, Which the God of nations turned to good; Then John and Jonathan will be, Abiding friends, o'er land and sea; In their one great purpose, the world will ken, Peace on earth, goodwill ...
— Wit, Humor, Reason, Rhetoric, Prose, Poetry and Story Woven into Eight Popular Lectures • George W. Bain

... young un," the boy said in a low voice, "thar's no call vor to fret. It warn't thy fault; thou couldn't not tell why oi would not let ee pass, and ye were roight enough to foight rather than to toorn back. I doan't blame ee nohow, and thou stoodst up well agin me. Oi doan't bear no malice vor a fair foight, not loikely. Thy feyther has been roight good to ...
— Through the Fray - A Tale of the Luddite Riots • G. A. Henty

... 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 vain repinings ...
— She and I, Volume 2 - A Love Story. A Life History. • John Conroy Hutcheson

... passed. Joe rested quietly, and began to recover strength. Besides the work of preparing their meals, Whispering Winds had nothing to do save sit near the invalid and amuse or interest him so that he would not fret or grow impatient, ...
— The Spirit of the Border - A Romance of the Early Settlers in the Ohio Valley • Zane Grey

... to see Godolphin's face when he reads my dispatch, and finds that he's got to honor bills for a hundred thousand pounds; it will be better than any comedy that ever was acted. How the pompous old owl will fret and fume! But he will have to find the money for all that. He can't begin the campaign by dishonoring bills of her majesty's general, or no one would trust us hereafter. You haven't seen my ...
— The Bravest of the Brave - or, with Peterborough in Spain • G. A. Henty

... "Don't fret yourself, George. I have a presentiment that we shall get rid of the 'fidgets' before we sleep. See—that ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... below, by the window of which there is a tree, and the winds rock its boughs to and fro, and it sighs and groans like a living thing; it will be pleasant to look at that tree, and see the birds come home to it,—yet that tree is wintry and blasted too! It will be pleasant to hear it fret and chafe in the stormy nights; it will be a friend to me, that old tree! let me have that room. Nay, look not at each other,—it is not so high as this; but the window is barred,—I ...
— Alice, or The Mysteries, Book VIII • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... just describing—Yes, it was the coast— Lay at this period quiet as the sky, The sands untumbled, the blue waves untossed, And all was stillness, save the sea-bird's cry, And dolphin's leap, and little billow crossed By some low rock or shelve, that made it fret Against the boundary it ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... certain incongruities in one of the latter's odes, he gives the following Doresque illustration of his point. "If you should lead me into a superb Gothic building, with a thousand clustered pillars, each of them half a mile high, the walls all covered with fret-work, and the windows full of red and blue saints that had neither head nor tail, and I should find the Venus de Medici in person perked up in a long niche over the high altar, as naked as she was born, do you think it would raise or damp my devotions?"[41] He made it a favorite occupation ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... yet Elmore sometimes found his fancy forgetfully at work as before. He could not at once realize that the tragedy of this romance, such as it was, remained to him alone, except perhaps as Ehrhardt shared it. With him, indeed, Elmore still sought to fret his remorse and keep it poignant, and his final failure to do so made him ashamed. But what lasting sorrow can one have from the disappointment of a man whom one has never seen? If Lily could console herself, it seemed probable that Ehrhardt too ...
— A Fearful Responsibility and Other Stories • William D. Howells

... of character and purpose unusual in a woman. Had she remained in the world and married, her husband would have found it somewhat difficult wholly to mould her to his will. Yet to possess such a woman would have been worth adventuring much. But I must not fret you, dear lad, by talking of the Prioress, when your mind is intent upon arriving at ...
— The White Ladies of Worcester - A Romance of the Twelfth Century • Florence L. Barclay

... to make it livable save a new experience or the hope of one? Such a getting up hill as precedes the rest at the summit! We stopped for breath while the locomotive puffed and panted as if it would burst its brass-bound lungs; then we began to climb again, and to wheeze, fret and fume; and it seemed as if we actually went down on hands and knees and crept a bit when the grade became steeper than usual. Only think of it a moment—an incline of two hundred and twenty feet to the mile in some places, and the track ...
— Over the Rocky Mountains to Alaska • Charles Warren Stoddard

... softness fills the air,— No breeze on wanton wings steals by To break the holy quiet there, Or make the waters fret and sigh, Or the yellow alders shiver, That bend to kiss the placid river, Flowing on and on forever; But the little waves are sleeping, O'er the pebbles slowly creeping, That last night were flashing, leaping, Driven by ...
— The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book • Various

... of all this world, Its folly and fret and care. Find me a little scented home Amongst ...
— Last Poems • Laurence Hope

... guard's gone to get me some information about the night trains on other lines. In the meantime, don't fret about ...
— The Black Bag • Louis Joseph Vance

... breast? Why all this fret and flurry? Dost thou not know that what is best In this too restless world is rest From ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two • Various

... said Mrs. Savor. "I see you'd be'n putting up some kind of job on her the minute she mentioned the cars. Don't you fret any, Miss Kilburn. Rebecca and me'll get along with her, you needn't ...
— Annie Kilburn - A Novel • W. D. Howells

... union, but acts as if a split were occasionally essential; will nurse its own children well when they are quiet, but recognises the virtues of a shake if uneasiness supervenes; respects its ministers much, but will order them to move on if they fret its epidermis too acutely; can pray well, work well, fight well; and from its antagonisms can distil benefits. About nine years since, a sacred stirring of heads, a sharp moving of tongues, and a lively up- heaving of bristles took place at Cannon-street Congregational Chapel, ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... 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 ...
— The Girl and Her Religion • Margaret Slattery

... moaning in the night For one to lead him to his waiting love, To lead him to the temple of delight, To the white ivory casket where his soul Is set with lovely secrets? Do I not hear The little echoes roll, and fade, and fret About the murmuring foliage of the garden Wherein the temple lies? Do I not fear Lest in the outer glories he be lost And thwarted of his heart's desire, that flies Like a dove before his coming, and alights ...
— Miscellany of Poetry - 1919 • Various

... Despite the fret I had put him in, he was cautious. Nevertheless I compelled the play to be rapid, and in the dim light, depending less than usual on sight and more than usual on feel, our blades ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... work unless I feel like it, and I want to have a good house—by golly, I'll have as good a house as anybody in THIS town!—and if we want to travel and see your Tormina or whatever it is, why we can do it, with enough money in our jeans so we won't have to take anything off anybody, or fret about our old age. You never worry about what might happen if we got sick and didn't have a good fat wad salted ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... sire spoke, he seized the hand of Kaala, and unheeding her sobs and cries, led her along the rugged shore to a point eastward of the bay, where the beating sea makes the rocky shore tremble beneath the feet. Here was a boiling gulf, a fret and foam of the sea, a roar of waters, and a mighty jet of brine and spray from a spouting cave whose mouth lay ...
— Hawaiian Folk Tales - A Collection of Native Legends • Various

... soothed it as best she could, holding it in her arms, patting it on the back, and trying all manner of devices to keep it quiet. A little boy several years old was on the seat beside her, and the instant the baby began to fret, he set up a distinct and independent ...
— Elizabeth Hobart at Exeter Hall • Jean K. Baird

... about the society of Constantinople. As one cannot always be out shooting, it is very important to our happiness to have something to fall back upon in the social way. I was told once by a very great friend of mine, who saw that I was inclined to fret, 'to take everything as a joke.' If one's liver is in good order it is very easy to do so, but sometimes the contrary is the case, and it makes one at times quite savage to see the airs that are temporarily put on ...
— Sketches From My Life - By The Late Admiral Hobart Pasha • Hobart Pasha

... did the Phrygian reeds that babbled of the personal beauties of Midas. Of course, it does not concern me—it is not my business—and you certainly have as good a right as any other child of Adam, to fret and cry and pout over your girlish griefs, to sit up all night, ruin your eyes, and grow rapidly and prematurely old and ugly. But whenever I chance to stumble over a wounded creature trying to drag itself out of sight, I generally either ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... Master said, To learn and then do, is not that a pleasure? When friends come from afar do we not rejoice? To live unknown and not fret, is not that to be ...
— The Sayings Of Confucius • Confucius

... made the farmer fret a good deal. It was true that the harvest work on the farm was over, but he had wished ...
— The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview • Ralph Bonehill

... to her room, and began a fevered toilet. It was true that she possessed nothing suitable for ballroom wear; but then the dance was to be quite informal, and she was too happy to fret herself over that fact. She put on the white muslin frock which she had worn for dinner ever since she had been with the de Vignes. It gave her a fairylike daintiness that had a charm of its own of which she was utterly unconscious. Perhaps fortunately, she had ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell



Words linked to "Fret" :   rub, adorn, annoy, meet, embellish, contact, rag, decorate, fleck, carve, beautify, adjoin, niggle, rankle, provide, dapple, flap, dither, maculation, damage, worn spot, worry, pother, lather, choke, scratch, press, eat into, devil, furnish, rust, render, grace, irritate, bar, honeycomb, eat away, key pattern, ornament, get at, Greek fret, nettle, stew, squeeze, bother, supply, spot, swither, wash, gravel, architectural ornament, gall, handicraft, constrict, gag, grate, speckle



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