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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After Mitchell's third 3-pointer of the frame, rookie Destanni Henderson stood up from the bench, raised three fingers and waved them around in circle. James Boyd, The Indianapolis Star, 11 May 2022 North Attleborough 7, King Philip 6 — Trailing 5-2 entering the seventh, the No. 17 Red Rocketeers (9-3) scored four in the top of the frame to take the lead before the Warriors tied it to force extras. Brendan Kurie,, 6 May 2022 Lawson Neel led off the bottom half of the frame with a single and scored five batters later, along with Caleb Jennings, on a two-run double from Lang. Evan Dudley, al, 5 May 2022 In the video, another woman out of frame compliments the look. Allure, 4 May 2022 In the top half of the frame, the Orioles squandered a chance with the bases loaded, practically inviting a Yankees comeback attempt. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 28 Apr. 2022 Occasionally this strange and tender feed will be interrupted by an oddly glossy video — like from a big-on-Zigazoo child actor who can execute his challenges while staring meaningfully into the lens and tickling a piano just out of frame. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 But in a 15-second video, a lot of nuance and information can be left out of the frame, leaving the viewer confused about how to structure their shoulder training. Tyler Hatfield, Men's Health, 26 Apr. 2022 In the bottom of the frame, Gonsolin’s strong start to the night came to a sudden halt. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the United States, where many in the Irish diaspora embrace the nationalist cause, the party’s supporters frame the stakes more dramatically. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2022 The words succinctly frame the center and its mission. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2022 Mangrove trees and mineral clay banks also frame the resort along the Bacalar lagoon. Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2022 Two sections of the stadium’s original concrete bleachers and cobblestone walls frame each side of the north entrance. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 15 Mar. 2022 On the central Place de la Liberté, arched passageways frame the square, the scent of burning wood wafting through the air against a mountainous backdrop. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 Platforms now frame even the smallest curiosities into billboard-worthy pursuits. Jason Parham, Wired, 28 Feb. 2022 At the end of the last season, Kim (Rhea Seehorn) was persuading Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) to help frame her former mentor and boss, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), in some kind of career-ending act of fraud or malfeasance. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 The book is wholly unconvincing, however, in its attempt to frame the entire history of post-Civil War America as one grand and ever-expanding project in redistributionism. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This is where software processing comes in: Xiaomi’s post-image processing uses a proprietary algorithm that cleans up the shot with multi-frame HDR and defogging. Ben Sin, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 The weld between the outrigger assembly and the body's sub-frame assembly may be inadequate, which could result in failure of the aerial unit during use. Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2021 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, 27 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Frame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for frame


\ 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


transitive verb
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

Nglish: Translation of frame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frame for Arabic Speakers


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