Affray meaning

ə-frā
Frequency:
The definition of an affray is a loud disagreement or fight in a public place.

An example of an affray is a loud argument between a couple in a restaurant.

noun
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A noisy quarrel or brawl.
noun
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To frighten.
verb
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A noisy brawl or quarrel; public fight or riot; breach of the peace.
noun
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(archaic) To frighten.
verb
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The voluntary and consensual fighting between two or more individuals in a public place to the terror of onlookers or the disturbance of the peace. There is no affray when a person is unlawfully attacked and resorts to self-defense instead of fleeing. See also assembly.
noun
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The act of suddenly disturbing any one; an assault or attack.
noun
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A tumultuous assault or quarrel.
noun
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The fighting of two or more persons, in a public place, to the terror of others.

The affray in the busy marketplace caused great terror and disorder.

noun
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To startle from quiet; to alarm.
verb
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To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.
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Origin of affray

  • Middle English from Old French effrei, esfrei from esfraier, esfreer to disturb prī- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary