Definition of frame in English:

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Pronunciation: /frām/


1A rigid structure that surrounds or encloses something such as a door or window.
Example sentences
  • His mother stood in the frame of the kitchen door, hands on her hips and a grim expression on her face.
  • A second address in Birmingham was also raided, the entire door wrenched from its frame as police arrested three men inside.
  • By then he had jemmied the frame from the shop door and was inside.
setting, mount, mounting
1.1 (frames) A metal or plastic structure holding the lenses of a pair of glasses.
Example sentences
  • Anyone needing glasses is fitted with frames and lenses before they leave.
  • His glasses were solid black frames with rather square lenses that gave a harsh professorial authority to his gentle blue eyes behind them.
  • Benefits include an eye exam every 12 months, a pair of prescription lenses and frames or contact lenses every 24 months.
1.2A case or border enclosing a mirror or picture.
Example sentences
  • The mirror's antique wood frame was painted a honeydew melon green, contrasting with an almost neon glow to the navy blue walls.
  • With its ornate, gilded frame, the mirror dominates the immediate area.
  • Silicone adhesive will bond the frame permanently to the mirror.
1.3The rigid supporting structure of an object such as a vehicle, building, or piece of furniture.
Example sentences
  • The school had been one of the few two storey buildings in the village, and the hundred year old wooden frame shook when vehicles passed along the road below.
  • One problem is that many buildings in Japan have wooden frames and tile roofs.
  • For environmental reasons the structure has a wooden frame.
framework, structure, substructure, skeleton, chassis, shell, casing, body, bodywork;
support, scaffolding, foundation, infrastructure
1.4A person’s body with reference to its size or build: a shiver shook her slim frame
More example sentences
  • His combative language and his defiant shouting were full of bravado, and he had the large frame and muscular build to back up his boasts.
  • I sighed and reached for her, taking her into my arms and holding her tightly, as her slim frame shuddered and shook with the erupting tears.
  • His clothes clung to his muscular frame and goosebumps ran over his entire body.
body, figure, form, shape, physique, build, size, proportions
1.5A boxlike structure of glass or plastic in which seeds or young plants are grown.
Example sentences
  • I give the young seedlings some winter protection in a frame and leave them in the seed pot until spring when they can be potted on.
  • Most came through the winter in a cool greenhouse, grew on in pots in a shaded frame for the following year and flowered the year after in their permanent positions.
  • Once you have the frame constructed remove any weeds or grass inside the frame so this vegetation does not grow up through your propagation bed.
1.6 [in singular] archaic or literary The universe, or part of it, regarded as an embracing structure.
Example sentences
  • He has the voice that shakes the very frame of the universe and makes you wish to be unborn.
  • For Newton there had once been a true uncorrupted monotheistic religion, in which the frame of the world had been studied, as he believed it should, as the true temple of a living God.
  • For we know that if the earthly frame that houses us today should be demolished, we possess a building which God has provided - a house not made of human hands, eternal, and in heaven.
1.7 [in singular] archaic or literary The structure, constitution, or nature of someone or something: we have in our inward frame various affections
More example sentences
  • Whatever be our inward frame, we are apt to perceive a wonderful congeniality in the world without us.
  • It distorts our inward frame, and unsettles the adjustments of our minds.
  • Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
2 [usually in singular] A basic structure that underlies or supports a system, concept, or text: the establishment of conditions provides a frame for interpretation
More example sentences
  • These terms and concepts provide the frame for his thoughtful analysis.
  • This civil war scenario is offered up merely as a frame to the text, and as such it's almost too interesting.
  • I wanted them to think outside the frame of the text.
2.1 technical short for frame of reference.
Example sentences
  • For inertial frames, it implies the speed of light is not relative to the frame, but duration is relative to the frame.
  • Other researchers have found little contribution of the relative frame, but this may be specific to the vertical plane where gravity plays a strong role.
  • Participants showed increased accuracy for the relative frame when they could process it perceptually.
2.2The genre or form of a literary text determining its expected style and content: my poems look as though they have a classical frame
2.3 [often as modifier] An enclosing section of narrative, especially one which foregrounds or comments on the primary narrative of a text: a frame narrator reports the narrative spoken by an inner narrator
3 Linguistics A structural environment within which a class of words or other linguistic units can be correctly used. For example I —— him is a frame for a large class of transitive verbs.
Example sentences
  • Correct capitalization could help German readers extract the structural frame of a sentence.
  • It would be a shame for the only analysis of political rhetoric to be in terms of frames, metaphors and word choices, as interesting as those topics are.
  • Nor does the effect appear to be limited to the RSVP of repeated words in sentence frames.
4A single complete picture in a series forming a movie, television, or video film.
Example sentences
  • It would seem, in fact, that not a single frame of film has been left on the cutting room floor.
  • It is a marketing strategy in search of a movie, the promotional campaign for which was in all likelihood decided upon before a single frame of film had been shot.
  • At the end of the film, the frame freezes and the lead actors real names and character names appear one at a time.
4.1A single picture in a comic strip.
Example sentences
  • But Roy would take a single frame from a cartoon or comic strip and turn it into an entire painting.
  • The comic strip ends with a frame featuring an aged Bible John wandering the streets of Glasgow in the present day.
  • ‘They still can be heroes, even without superpowers,’ the Man of Steel tells a crowd of adults and children in the last frame of the comic book
4.2 Computing A graphic panel in a display window, especially in a web browser, that encloses a self-contained section of data and permits multiple independent document viewing.
Example sentences
  • If, like most people, you're using a graphical browser, after login you see two frames.
  • The overall layout of the scroll bars and the way the frames are displayed is very impressive.
  • Even if users do click on an offer, they're never far from the site, since the new page opens up within the current frame.
5 another term for rack1 (sense 4 of the noun).
5.1A round of play in bowling.
Example sentences
  • It's a weird feeling to throw nine strikes and know you still need a mark in the 10th frame in order to win.
  • That doesn't come until the next game, after she has rolled consecutive gutter balls in the same frame.
  • Bohn put the game away with a strike on his first ball in the final frame.
5.2US informal An inning in a baseball game: he closed out the game by pitching two hitless frames
More example sentences
  • First, he nailed a ginormous triple to send the game into an extra frame.
  • The had two walks in the first frame, followed by four baserunners in each of the next two.
6North American short for frame-up.


[with object]
1Place (a picture or photograph) in a frame: he had the photo framed
More example sentences
  • A number of pictures were framed and presented to schools.
  • Try writing her a poem, painting a picture, composing a song, framing a picture, washing the dishes for her or simply spending the day in her company.
  • Notably, only a few photographs were framed and hung.
mount, set in a frame
1.1Surround so as to create a sharp or attractive image: a short, strong style cut to frame the face
More example sentences
  • Even the gate is a work of art; the rose-covered metal arbor and upward-arching gate create a circle that frames attractive views.
  • Moving images, including those framed by car windows, give us the possibility of seeing landscape as variable rather than fixed, as in landscape paintings.
  • Shocked, she stops, gathers her robe and advances just a bit, to be framed perfectly in the doorway.
2US Erect the framework of a building.
Example sentences
  • Wednesday the workmen arrive to frame up the room, drywall it, paint it, and put up shelves.
  • On the next day he ‘finished framing the building in the fore noon and raised it without our oxen before 2 o'clock.’
  • They were quite astonished to see that Dinsmore & Neilson had framed the building's upper gallery floor and was preparing to raise its roof so early in the season.
3Create or formulate (a concept, plan, or system): the staff have proved invaluable in framing the proposals
More example sentences
  • When the Constitution was framed in 1787, setting out the law of the United States, it involved compromise between North and South and permitted slavery.
  • Mr Davern is waiting for the report of the Organic Development Committee, whose recommendations will form the basis for framing policy on organic farming.
  • He and his organisation have clout in framing policy and legislation.
formulate, draw up, draft, plan, shape, compose, put together, form, devise, create, establish, conceive, think up, originate
informal dream up
3.1Form or articulate (words): he walked out before she could frame a reply
More example sentences
  • You would definitely frame your words in your own way and pray to the Lord for me.
  • The words were not framed in that rhetorical and hopeless way they often are following news of a tragedy.
  • He was nevertheless forced to frame his words welcoming the move carefully, to ensure that his political enemies were not given any ammunition they could use against him.
3.2 archaic Make or construct (something) by fitting parts together or in accordance with a plan: what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?
More example sentences
  • Tyger, Tyger, burning bright In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
  • A great number of men join in building a house or ship, in rearing a city, in framing a commonwealth: Why may not several Deities combine in contriving and framing a world?
  • The Puritans - who sought to frame their lives according to God's Word and were Edwards' spiritual forebears - wrote a great deal about this subject.
4 informal Produce false evidence against (an innocent person) so that they appear guilty: he claims he was framed
More example sentences
  • He claimed another criminal who ran a cannabis farm with Taylor was behind the killing, but that detectives manipulated evidence to frame him.
  • He claims that he was framed and that he was innocent.
  • David can't tell Keith what he knows about the murder because he doesn't want to tell him that there's been evidence planted that frames Keith.


frame of mind

A particular mood that influences one’s attitude or behavior.
Example sentences
  • It would be a nice one to win, and I hope every player will approach the game in a determined frame of mind.
  • After they pass their test people have a different frame of mind and it can help build confidence.
  • We want children to come to school in happy frames of mind and we don't want them rushing out of school at 3pm.
mood, state of mind, humor, temper, disposition



Pronunciation: /-məbəl/
Example sentences
  • Once completed a framable poster will be printed listing all participants.
  • These cards are twice the size of the A5 ‘Scarab Originals’ and are perfect framable gifts.
  • I currently offer double-matted framable prints of my poem for sale.


Pronunciation: /ˈfrāmləs/
Example sentences
  • I watched him set frameless bifocals on the end of his nose.
  • Going upstairs, you look out through the great tree and can get glances of King's Chapel through frameless double glazing.
  • A frameless glass shower door can help let in light to create a more spacious feel, and can be easier to clean.


Old English framian 'be useful', of Germanic origin and related to from. The general sense in Middle English, 'make ready for use', probably led to sense 2 of the verb; it also gave rise to the specific meaning 'prepare timber for use in building', later 'make the wooden parts of a building', essentially the framework, hence the noun sense 'structure' (late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with frame

acclaim, aflame, aim, became, blame, came, claim, dame, exclaim, fame, flame, game, lame, maim, misname, name, proclaim, same, shame, tame

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: frame

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