- Fray is defined as a noisy struggle or fight.
An example of a fray is a family argument.
- To fray is defined as when something becomes worn or unraveled, especially cloth.
An example of to fray is playing with the end of a sweater while nervous.
- To fray means to become irritated.
An example of to fray is drumming on the table in front of someone who dislikes that sound.
The frayed edge of a burlap sack.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Origin: Middle English frai, aphetic ; from affrai, affray
Origin: ME fraien
- to make or become worn, ragged, or raveled by rubbing
- to make or become weakened or strained
Origin: Middle English fraien ; from Old French freier ; from Classical Latin fricare, to rub: see friction
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- A scuffle; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.
- A heated dispute or contest.
- To alarm; frighten.
- To drive away.
Origin: Middle English frai, shortening of affrai; see affray.
verb frayed, fray·ing, frays verb, transitive
- To strain; chafe: repeated noises that fray the nerves.
- To wear away (the edges of fabric, for example) by rubbing.
Origin: Middle English fraien, to wear, bruise, from Old French fraier, to rub, from Latin fricāre.