There are 2 definitions of fray in English:

fray1

Syllabification: fray
Pronunciation: /frā
 
/

verb

[no object]
1(Of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing: cheap fabric soon frays (as adjective frayed) the frayed collar of her old coat
More example sentences
  • The cloth had frayed at the edges; the tassels had unraveled.
  • That much was true, but I'd overlooked just how much of the fabric has frayed or worn a little bit, exposing the pure-white threads underneath the blue.
  • ‘Cheap’ thread will fray, break and cause knotting of the thread while sewing.
Synonyms
unravel, wear, wear thin, wear out/through, become wornworn, well worn, threadbare, tattered, ragged, holey, moth-eaten, in holes, the worse for wear
informal tatty, raggedy, dog-eared
1.1(Of a person’s nerves or temper) show the effects of strain.
More example sentences
  • And as nerves fray and tempers rise you can be assured of a catty remark or backstage rumpus.
  • And he warns that people need to take steps to avoid long term mental health problems caused by seasonal frazzled nerves, frayed tempers, and over-indulgence.
  • The cottonwoods shimmered, the dirt turned gold, but back at camp that night, everyone's nerves frayed from a long day on the rock, emotions ran high.
Synonyms
strain, tax, overtax, put on edgestrained, fraught, tense, edgy, stressed
1.2 [with object] (Of a male deer) rub (a bush or small tree) with the head in order to remove the velvet from newly formed antlers, or to mark territory during the rut.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French freiier, from Latin fricare 'to rub'.

Definition of fray in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day hubris
Pronunciation: ˈhjuːbrɪs
noun
excessive pride or self-confidence

There are 2 definitions of fray in English:

fray2

Syllabification: fray
Pronunciation: /frā
 
/

noun

(the fray)
1A situation of intense activity, typically one incorporating an element of aggression or competition: nineteen companies intend to bid for the contract, with three more expected to enter the fray
More example sentences
  • The second round saw some of the stronger teams from last year's competition enter the fray, and some of the first round qualifiers stepped up their game yet further under the afternoon sun.
  • Overall domestic market share is down and it's recently been falling in the light truck sector, as new foreign competitors enter the fray.
  • Although it feels like it has been going on for decades, alas, it's still a necessary discussion, and I've been meaning to enter the fray.
1.1A battle or fight.
More example sentences
  • See how the rotten beams are tumbling down, and how the patched and broken windows seem to scowl dimly, like eyes that have been hurt in drunken frays.
  • Nor can he explain his unprecedented ability to quickly heal from his frequent frays.
  • Despite these frays, the black children realize they are financially superior.
Synonyms

Origin

late Middle English: from archaic fray 'to quarrel', from affray 'startle', from Anglo-Norman French afrayer (see affray).

Definition of fray in: