Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:
When negative emotions — from tension, distress, or uneasiness — get the better of you, you may have occasion to describe yourself as being in a fraught (pronounced "FROT") situation, or fraught yourself.
The word derives from the Dutch and German vract, "ship's cargo," and vrachten, "to load with cargo." The word is also related to freight. The English adjective originally meant "laden," "well supplied."
It did not take long for a metaphoric sense of being overloaded to appear, thus speaking of situations "fraught with tension." You'll notice that freighted can occupy similar territory. And when a situation is "fraught with danger," it is easy to become fraught oneself: uneasy, emotional, tense, distressed.