I am not sure about the usage of freak out - it means wildly irrational behaviour? Can we say for example that when someone is not doing something like expected is freaking out? I will give you an example. I have a colleague who is extremely kind and gentle to me and I am considering this as suspicious , can I say he is freaking me out?

  • Forgive my joke ... I suggest you ask a psychiatrist rather than a linguist for the answer to that question. :-) Dec 9, 2018 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


There are two different uses of 'freak out':

  1. Intransitive verb (no object) - to freak out - meaning to suddenly behave oddly, or in an uninhibited fashion, or to get very angry or excited, or worried.

  2. Transitive verb (with object) - to freak someone out - meaning to cause someone else to behave as above.

The verb is considered very informal and conversational and not suitable for formal or academic writing.

Freak out (Cambridge)

Freak out (Collins)

  • Very informal but perfectly correct.
    – Josh B.
    Dec 9, 2018 at 6:30

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