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[freym-uhp] /ˈfreɪmˌʌp/
noun, Informal.
a fraudulent incrimination of an innocent person.
Origin of frame-up
1895-1900, Americanism; frame + up, modeled on nominalizations of phrasal verbs, with up as perfective particle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for frame up
Historical Examples
  • I merely wanted to frame up to you how this thing's going to turn out.

    Bucky O'Connor William MacLeod Raine
  • "We'll frame up those telegrams now and get them off," he told them.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • There was some noise, but not much, as he pushed the frame up evenly, with a thumb at each side.

    A Child of the Jago Arthur Morrison
  • He was the only man in camp that did not know that the affair was a "frame up."

  • I'll tell ye—you put me wise to a whole lot more stuff, and I'll frame up another come-on.

    Bat Wing Bowles Dane Coolidge
  • "I can't see what there is to frame up," retorted Burt hopelessly.

    The Blind Lion of the Congo Elliott Whitney
  • You're goin' t' frame up a nice little telegram t' this guy Geoff—oh, you sure are th' fly gazebo!

    The Definite Object Jeffery Farnol
  • He is trying to frame up a plan to set the entire detective agency of the country to work.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost Gene Stratton Porter
  • When the railroad came through it brought with it some land-sharks that tried to frame up on the ranch-owners in the vicinity.

    The Ranchman Charles Alden Seltzer
  • The frame up to this time had consisted generally of conventional branches with bosses at the corners.

British Dictionary definitions for frame up


noun (slang)
a conspiracy to incriminate someone on a false charge
a plot to bring about a dishonest result, as in a contest
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for frame up

frame up

verb phrase

To concoct; fabricate: What lie are you going to frame up for your father

[1899+; perhaps fr the carpenter's term for erecting the frame of a new building]



  1. The incrimination of an innocent person with false evidence: I'll prove to you it's a frame-up (1913+)
  2. A display of goods for sale (1940s+ Pitchmen)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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