de·​fray di-ˈfrā How to pronounce defray (audio)
defrayed; defraying; defrays

transitive verb

: to provide for the payment of : pay
sold advertising on his website to help defray the cost of running it
archaic : to bear the expenses of (a person)
defrayable adjective
defrayal noun

Example Sentences

This will defray the costs.
Recent Examples on the Web The package also makes several policy changes intended to defray the affordable housing crisis, including giving tenants more time to pay overdue rent and holding local jurisdictions accountable for producing more housing. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, 29 Mar. 2023 But hospitals also were major financial beneficiaries of the pandemic, receiving more than $170 billion in subsidies to defray their operating losses. David Wainer, WSJ, 4 Nov. 2022 The various efforts to defray the rising cost of gasoline come in the middle of an election year and at a time when inflation and interest rates are on the rise, elevating fears about the economic future and financial pressures on people in California and nationwide. Taryn Luna, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2022 In 2002, a friend of Thomas’ from the RV community who owned a Florida pest control company, Earl Dixon, offered Thomas $5,000 to help defray the costs of Martin’s education. Propublica, Dallas News, 4 May 2023 Often viewed as a gauge for tourism health in Orlando, revenues pay for the Orange County Convention Center; fund Visit Orlando; and defray costs for Orlando’s cultural venues, including the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Amway Center and Camping World Stadium. Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel, 3 Mar. 2023 Donations from the public helped defray the expense. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Aug. 2022 Registration is free, but monthly donations are encouraged to help defray costs. Bill Monroe, oregonlive, 31 Mar. 2023 His family also identified him on social media and in a GoFundMe created to help defray funeral costs. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defray.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French deffroyer, from des- de- + frayer to expend, from Old French, from frais, plural of fret, frait expenditure, literally, damage by breaking, from Latin fractum, neuter of fractus, past participle of frangere to break — more at break

First Known Use

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of defray was in 1536

Dictionary Entries Near defray

Cite this Entry

“Defray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​fray di-ˈfrā How to pronounce defray (audio)
: to pay or provide for the payment of
more money to defray expenses
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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