1

fray

noun \ ˈfrā \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of fray

: a usually disorderly or protracted fight, struggle, or dispute
  • Fighting there could easily draw neighboring nations into the fray.
  • —Blaine Harden
  • … the patrician statesman who stood above the fray.
  • —Richard D. Hylton

Origin and Etymology of fray

see 4fray

2

fray

verb

Definition of fray

1 a : to wear (something, such as an edge of cloth) by or as if by rubbing : fret
b : to separate the threads at the edge of
2 : strain, irritate
  • … a botched new bus system … which has frayed tempers.
  • The Economist
1 : to wear out or into shreds
2 : to show signs of strain
  • fraying nerves

Origin and Etymology of fray

Middle English fraien, from Anglo-French freier, froier to rub, from Latin fricare — more at friction

3

fray

noun

Definition of fray

: a raveled place or worn spot (as on fabric)

First Known Use of fray

1630

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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4

fray

verb

Definition of fray

archaic
: scare; also : to frighten away

Origin and Etymology of fray

Middle English fraien, short for affraien to affray


FRAY Defined for Kids

1

fray

noun \ ˈfrā \

Definition of fray for Students

: 2fight 1, brawl

2

fray

verb

Definition of fray for Students

frayed; fraying
: to wear into shreds


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