af·​fray | \ ə-ˈfrā How to pronounce affray (audio) \

Definition of affray

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : fray, brawl
2 chiefly British : a fight in a public place that disturbs the peace


affrayed; affraying; affrays

Definition of affray (Entry 2 of 2)

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Examples of affray in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He also was arrested in 2009 on misdemeanor affray charges after being involved in a fight and fleeing police. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Giants cut Janoris Jenkins after CB insults fan," 13 Dec. 2019 The police said the 43-year-old man has been charged with assault causing bodily harm and affray. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "Pregnant woman wearing a headscarf kicked in the head in Australia," 23 Nov. 2019 Each has been charged with either assault and battery on a police officer or assault, accosting, affray, or carrying a dangerous weapon. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Straight Pride Parade fallout: Boston DA wins fight over counter protester arrests," 9 Sep. 2019 Despite serving a ten-month imprisonment for affray in 2012, the striker became a firm favourite amongst fans, being handed the armband at the start of the team's promotion-winning campaign of 2014/15., "8 Premier League Players Who Worked Their Way Up the Footballing Pyramid," 29 June 2019 Harrison, in addition to felony murder charges, is also facing first- and second-degree cruelty to children, simple battery and affray. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Mom Charged With Murder After Dropping 3-Month-Old During Fight," 24 July 2019 Harrison was charged with felony murder, cruelty to children, simple battery and affray for fighting, police said. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "Georgia mother who dropped 3-month-old baby during fight charged with murder after he dies," 23 July 2019 Karen Lashun Harrison, 26, remains in police custody on murder and several other charges including felony child cruelty, simple battery and affray charges, according to a Moultrie Police Department statement. Chris Harris,, "Georgia Mom Charged With Murder After Allegedly Dropping Baby in Fight With Other Woman," 23 July 2019 Three male juveniles and two adult men were charged with affray and processed at the Martin County Jail, police said. Fox News, "Five guys arrested at Five Guys burger joint in Florida: police," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affray.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of affray


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for affray


Middle English afray, affray "fright, consternation, assault, brawl," borrowed from Anglo-French effrei, esfrei, affrai, noun derivative of esfreier, effreier, affraier "to frighten, startle" — more at affray entry 2


Middle English afraien, affraien "to disturb, frighten, attack, brawl," borrowed from Anglo-French esfreier, effreier, (with prefix alternation) affreer, affraier "to frighten, startle," going back to Gallo-Romance *exfridāre, from Latin ex- ex- entry 1 + Gallo-Romance *-fridāre, derivative from Old Low Franconian *friðu "peace, tranquility," going back to Germanic *friþu- (whence Old English friþ "peace, security, protection," Old Saxon friđu, Old High German fridu, Old Norse friðr), derivative, with the suffix *-tu-, of *fri(j)a- free entry 1

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Time Traveler for affray

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The first known use of affray was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Affray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for affray


How to pronounce affray (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of affray

chiefly British, law, formal : a noisy fight between two or more people in a public place


af·​fray | \ ə-ˈfrā How to pronounce affray (audio) \

Legal Definition of affray

: a fight between two or more people in a public place that disturbs the peace

History and Etymology for affray

Middle French affrai, effrai fright, disturbance, from affraier, effreer to terrify

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with affray

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