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

Definition of defray

transitive verb

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

Other Words from defray

defrayable \ di-​ˈfrā-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce defray (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
defrayal \ di-​ˈfrā(-​ə)l How to pronounce defray (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Examples of defray in a Sentence

This will defray the costs.
Recent Examples on the Web The challenge for the smaller boat owners is to secure funding to pay for the environmental upgrades and persuade passengers to pay higher prices to help defray the upgrade costs. Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2021 Ukiah received $2 million from the state to help defray the costs, and the county itself subsidizes about $800 of each shipment. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 At many stately homes, trusts allow aristocratic owners to live in private parts of their castles while tours and other public events defray the cost of upkeep. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 Some schools offer funding packages that defray all or some of the cost, but this is not guaranteed. WSJ, 10 Aug. 2021 The Americans With Disabilities Act wasn’t set up to defray the cost of being disabled, though, but to simply ensure access. New York Times, 21 July 2021 The deal is for one year and gives players the option of using the $500 per month toward a vehicle at Findlay Toyota or taking it in the form of a stipend to defray other expenses. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Oct. 2021 The food truck owners pay the funeral home $40 each week to park in the lot, and Bushelon has saved all those fees and put them into a scholarship fund to defray some of the costs of college for kids in the West End community. Bob Carlton |, al, 10 Aug. 2021 Help should come from Michigan’s 529 plan, which empowers families to defray the cost of their children’s education through investments that grow tax-free. Ben Degrow, National Review, 30 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defray.' 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 defray

1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defray

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

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of defray

: to pay for (something)


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