Definition of frame

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the physical makeup of an animal and especially a human body : physique, figure
b : something composed of parts fitted together and united
2a : the underlying constructional system or structure that gives shape or strength (as to a building)
b : a frame dwelling
3a : an open case or structure made for admitting, enclosing, or supporting something a window frame
b(1) frames plural : that part of a pair of glasses other than the lenses
(2) : a part of a pair of glasses that holds one of the lenses
c : a structural unit in an automobile chassis supported on the axles and supporting the rest of the chassis and the body
d : a machine built upon or within a framework a spinning frame
4a : an enclosing border
b : the matter or area enclosed in such a border: such as
(1) : an individual drawing in a comic strip usually enclosed by a bordering line
(2) : one picture of the series on a length of film
(3) : one of the squares in which scores for each round are recorded (as in bowling) also : a round in bowling
(4) : a complete image for display (as on a television set)
c : an inning in baseball
e : an event that forms the background for the action of a novel or play
5 : frame-up
6 obsolete : the act or manner of framing


\ ˈfrām How to pronounce frame (audio) \
framed; framing

Definition of frame (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to enclose in a frame frame a picture also : to enclose as if in a frame a face framed in a wealth of auburn hair
2a : to give expression to : formulate frame a rule that brings order into our perceptions— Virginia Woolf
b : to draw up (something, such as a document) frame a written constitution
c : plan, contrive framed a new method of achieving their purpose
d : shape, construct frame a figure out of clay
3a : to contrive the evidence against (an innocent person) so that a verdict of guilty is assured He claims that he was framed for the murder.
b : to devise (something, such as a criminal charge) falsely frame a case against a neighbor to get rid of him
c : fix sense 7b The wrestling matches were framed.
4 : to construct by fitting and uniting the parts of the skeleton of (a structure) frame a house
5 : to fit or adjust especially to something or for an end : arrange framed the test to evaluate students' understanding of the material
6 obsolete : produce

intransitive verb

1 archaic : proceed, go
2 obsolete : manage



Definition of frame (Entry 3 of 3)

: having a wood frame frame houses

Illustration of frame

Illustration of frame


frame 2a

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from frame


framable or frameable \ ˈfrā-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce frame (audio) \ adjective
framer noun

Examples of frame in a Sentence

Noun the frame of a house I need new frames for my glasses. Verb It was the first state to frame a written constitution. She framed her questions carefully. He took the time to frame a thoughtful reply. She claims that she was framed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This frame, the group claim more than half of all the spots on the competitive tally, proving that while there are plenty of other acts out there trying to reach the chart, none of them are as popular or successful as BTS. Hugh Mcintyre, Forbes, "BTS Conquer The World Albums Chart, Filling More Than Half Of The Entire Ranking This Week," 28 Apr. 2021 In that sense, the frame is both the bedrock and keystone of the entire Chief selection. Bryan Campbell, Robb Report, "First Ride: How the 2022 Indian Chief Line Redefines the Production Cruiser," 21 Apr. 2021 This frame was painted in Emperor’s Silk, then sanded over once dried with a fine sanding pad. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "We Asked Annie Sloan How to Chalk Paint Furniture—She Invented It, After All," 14 Apr. 2021 Considering the Red Sox put runners on second and third with one out in the fourth inning, their one run that frame was a success. Jon Meoli,, "Matt Harvey turns in sound performance in Orioles debut, a 4-2 win over Red Sox," 3 Apr. 2021 The frame is foldable and the net is simple to store. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Lacrosse Net," 29 Mar. 2021 The frame itself is on the lighter side than other hammocks mentioned above, weighing 30 pounds. Ambar Pardilla, NBC News, "Best hammock sales and deals: Walmart, Wayfair and more," 19 Mar. 2021 Talbert and Nettles led the Spartans in assists all year, but Talbert’s defensive tenacity and 6-3 frame are what the Spartans miss. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Richmond Heights slams Dalton, 67-39, for third straight OHSAA Division IV district title," 6 Mar. 2021 The monitor’s frame is unobtrusive and the sturdy stand has height, swivel, and tilt adjustments, offering a well-rounded, responsive experience. Popular Science, "Best monitors for home office: The essential upgrade for your workstation," 6 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Start by auditing the tools employees are testing, but don’t frame it punitively. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "16 Strategies To Prevent Your Team Members From Adopting ‘Shadow IT’," 9 Apr. 2021 The Lucy Burns Museum doesn’t frame suffrage as a story of police brutality; many of its stakeholders are former prison employees, and no former prisoners serve on the board or had curatorial input. Alli Hartley-kong, Smithsonian Magazine, "Radical Protests Propelled the Suffrage Movement. Here’s How a New Museum Captures That History," 26 Oct. 2020 In Detroit, a Lions fan used that same slur against black fans in a Snapchat post during a game — yet subsequent media coverage did not frame Detroit as a bigoted city., "The bigot in the stands, and other stories," 14 Dec. 2017 As soon as the plant is set in the ground, set a stake or frame next to or over it. Pam Peirce, San Francisco Chronicle, "10 steps to Bay Area tomato success right now," 2 Apr. 2021 The show has provided a vessel for the celebrity family to frame (and time the revelation of) their biggest life events without relying on journalists or statements on social media. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "How 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' changed reality television as we know it, dolls," 18 Mar. 2021 To gauge and frame the oddness of an NCAA Tournament lost to the cruel winds of a global pandemic before the sport stubbornly reclaimed it a year later, start with Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher and his hotel sink in Indianapolis. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Aztecs embrace NCAA oddness, remember teammates who missed out," 14 Mar. 2021 Some QAnon influencers have denounced this theory, and written on message boards and in Facebook groups that stories about March 4 are being planted in an attempt to delegitimize or frame QAnon supporters. Lydia Wang,, "March 4th Is Just Another Day, Right? Not If You’re In QAnon," 4 Mar. 2021 Make your own masterpiece with this DIY abstract watercolor canvas project or simply frame marble wallpaper or fabric samples. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 Easy Ways Get the Look of Marble in Every Room," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Spurs were 0-3 in OT heading into Monday, including extra-frame losses to Atlanta and Indiana earlier this month. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Thriller in D.C. vs. Wizards shows Spurs team growing up," 27 Apr. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4


1780, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frame

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English, to benefit, construct, from Old English framian to benefit, make progress; akin to Old Norse fram forward, Old English fram from

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Time Traveler for frame

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for frame

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for frame



English Language Learners Definition of frame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the basic structure and shape of the body of a person or animal
: an arrangement of parts that support and form the basic shape of something
: an open structure that holds something (such as glass or a picture)



English Language Learners Definition of frame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something) inside an open structure that holds it : to put (something) in a frame
: to be around the edge of (something)
: to produce (something written or spoken) : to express (a question, answer, etc.) in words


\ ˈfrām How to pronounce frame (audio) \
framed; framing

Kids Definition of frame

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to enclose in or as if in a frame frame a picture Long brown hair framed his face.
2 : to produce (something) in writing or spoken words frame a constitution
3 : to make appear guilty He's being framed for the crime.

Other Words from frame

framer noun



Kids Definition of frame (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the structure of an animal and especially a human body : physique a muscular frame
2 : an arrangement of parts that give form or support to something the frame of a house
3 : an open case or structure for holding or enclosing something window frame picture frame



Kids Definition of frame (Entry 3 of 3)

: having a wooden frame a two-story frame house


\ ˈfrām How to pronounce frame (audio) \

Medical Definition of frame

1 : the physical makeup of an animal and especially a human body : physique, figure
2a : a part of a pair of glasses that holds one of the lenses
b frames plural : that part of a pair of glasses other than the lenses

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framed; framing

Legal Definition of frame

1 : to formulate the contents of and draw up (as a document) in the two hundred years since our Constitution was framed— W. J. Brennan, Jr.
2 : to contrive the evidence against (as an innocent person) so that a verdict of guilty is assured

More from Merriam-Webster on frame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frame

Nglish: Translation of frame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frame for Arabic Speakers

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