\ ˈfrād How to pronounce frayed (audio) \

Definition of frayed

1 : worn or shredded at the ends or edges frayed jeans A long line of scared-looking first years entered, led by Professor McGonagall, who was carrying a stool on which sat an ancient wizard's hat, heavily patched and darned with a wide rip near the frayed brim.— J. K. Rowling
2 : damaged, weakened, or worn down by strain or irritation frayed nerves/tempers He vanished underground for a time, and when he reappeared he had retired from pimping. But he was still dealing drugs, and in his frayed state he was losing his half-step edge on the law.— Peter Goldman The draconian measures drew widespread condemnation in Europe and further strained the already frayed relations between Pretoria and Washington …— Mark Whitaker

First Known Use of frayed

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frayed

Time Traveler for frayed

Time Traveler

The first known use of frayed was in 1815

See more words from the same year

Statistics for frayed

Cite this Entry

“Frayed.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frayed

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


good-natured easy friendliness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!