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affray Line breaks: af¦fray
Pronunciation: /əˈfreɪ/

Definition of affray in English:


Law , dated
An instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace: Lowe was charged with causing an affray [mass noun]: a person guilty of affray
More example sentences
  • At a hearing earlier this month, the accused pleaded guilty to causing an affray during a fight in a pub in April.
  • His criminal record also includes armed robbery, affray, assault, theft and public order offences.
  • The plaintiff was the widow of a man killed in a criminal affray.


Middle English (in the general sense 'disturbance, fray'): from Anglo-Norman French afrayer 'disturb, startle', based on an element of Germanic origin related to Old English frithu 'peace, safety' (compare with German Friede 'peace').

  • Although an affray is now a disturbance of the peace caused by fighting in a public place, its first meaning was ‘alarm, fright or terror’ or ‘frighten’. Its root is the old Norman French word afrayer, which also gives us afraid (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with affray

agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, Gaye, Genet, giclee, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, hay, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sleigh, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, spray, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, weigh, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea
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