(third-person singular simple present affrays, present participle affraying, simple past and past participle affrayed)
- To startle from quiet; to alarm.
- To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.
From Middle English afraien (“to terrify, frighten”), from Anglo-Norman afrayer (“to terrify, disquiet, disturb”), from Old French effreer, esfreer (“to disturb, remove the peace from”), from es- (“ex-”) + freer (“to secure, secure the peace”), from Frankish *friþu (“security, peace”), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (“peace”), from Proto-Germanic *frijōną (“to free; to love”), from Proto-Indo-European *prāy-, *prēy- (“to like, love”). Cognate with Old High German fridu (“peace”), Old English friþ (“peace, frith”), Old English frēod (“peace, friendship”), German Friede (“peace”). Compare also afear. More at free, friend.