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

Definition of frame

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

1 archaic : proceed, go
2 obsolete : manage



Definition of frame (Entry 2 of 3)

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



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 frameable (audio) \ adjective
framer noun

Examples of frame in a Sentence


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.


the frame of a house I need new frames for my glasses.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Gala and the exhibition are framed around Susan Sontag’s essay, Notes On Camp, which details the inner-workings of what camp is and what camp is not. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Watch HauteLeMode Explain the Met Gala 2019 Theme of Camp," 16 Apr. 2019 There is strength in her face, framed by a crisp, closely shorn hairstyle. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New England museums to visit this summer and fall," 4 July 2018 And that doesn’t appear to be the only time the Biscayne Park police zeroed in on one person and framed him for a host of crimes. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Florida Police Chief Told Cops to Arrest Random Black People to Boost Stats," 12 July 2018 To simply frame in P.R. communications an issue as ‘improper workplace conduct’ seems to soften the issue and generalize it too much. New York Times, "Without Disclosing Details, N.F.L. Fines Jerry Richardson for Sexual Harassment and Racist Comments," 28 June 2018 Federal prosecutors say a small-town police chief and two officers framed a 16-year-old in four unsolved burglaries in Florida five years ago. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Ex-police chief, officers framed a teen to boost arrest stats, prosecutors say," 12 June 2018 Analyzing images from the French elections and the recent UK general election, researchers found that a plurality of photos were factually correct—that is, undoctored—but ultimately framed in a misleading way. An Xiao Mina, The Atlantic, "That Merkel Photo Is More Like a Meme Than a Renaissance Painting," 11 June 2018 But there was also a debate about the role of art in life, often framed in the context of public art and who pays for it. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Last Temptation of Christ' complaints are nothing new," 7 June 2018 Reformers frame their arguments in terms of human capital. The Economist, "Reformists and traditionalists are at war over Russian schools," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Add pops of white throughout a room—from picture frames and pillows to the servingware in your china cabinet—to naturally draw attention throughout the space. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Simplicity of White," 1 May 2019 These chic tabletop frames were the first things in the new collection to catch our eyes. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines' Newest Target Collection Has the Most Perfect Mother's Day Gifts," 28 Apr. 2019 The most eagle-eyed in our office spotted a final recognizable item: this geometric rose gold photo frame—which sits on a desk in the house, with nary a photo inside. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "All the Home Decor Items You Can Shop in Taylor Swift's "ME" Video," 26 Apr. 2019 Another Aussie designer Gonzales is rocking her black, oval-shaped, metallic frame sunglasses are from Quay. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Look Is Money: How Three Editors Dress for Work," 22 Mar. 2019 In any case, 80Hz allows Oculus to keep that old minimum spec even with the higher resolution; more detailed frames, but fewer of them. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Hands-on: The $399 Oculus Rift S kicks off the next gen of PC-based VR by appealing to the masses," 20 Mar. 2019 The test confirmed significantly higher frame time spikes and longer loading times with Denuvo enabled. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Evidence continues to mount about how bad Denuvo is for PC gaming performance," 26 Dec. 2018 Here, walls of glass frame views of the yard, while new cork flooring complements a double-faced stone fireplace and wood paneling. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Ryon Healy drove in the second run of the frame on a hard double to the left-field corner, scoring Bruce, who had drawn a two-out walk. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Whew! Mariners hang on to beat Red Sox despite three ninth-inning errors," 30 Mar. 2019

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 transitive sense 1


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


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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Dictionary Entries near frame







frame drum

Statistics for frame

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frame

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

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More Definitions for frame



English Language Learners Definition of frame

 (Entry 1 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



English Language Learners Definition of frame (Entry 2 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)


\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on frame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frame

Spanish Central: Translation of frame

Nglish: Translation of frame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on frame

What made you want to look up frame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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