- 1 [no object] (Of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing: cheap fabric soon fraysMore example sentences
unravel, wear, wear thin, wear out, wear away, wear through, become worn, become threadbare, become tattered, become ragged, go into holes, go throughunravelling, unravelled, worn, well worn, threadbare, tattered, ragged, holey, moth-eaten, shabby; torn, ripped, split; worn out, worn through, worn thin, in holes, in tatters, falling to pieces, the worse for wearNorth American • informal raggedy
- 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.
- 1.1(Of a person’s nerves or temper) show the effects of strain: as the temperature rose, tempers frayedMore 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.
late Middle English: from Old French freiier, from Latin fricare 'to rub'.
- 1A situation of intense competitive activity: ten companies intend to bid for the contract, with three more expected to enter the frayMore 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: he charged into the thick of the fray and went down fightingMore example sentences
battle, engagement, conflict, armed conflict, fight, clash, skirmish, altercation, tussle, struggle, scuffle, melee, brawl, riot, commotion, disturbance; contest, competitionBritish • informal , Football aftersLaw , • dated affray
- 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.
late Middle English: from archaic fray 'to quarrel', from affray 'startle', from Anglo-Norman French afrayer (see affray).