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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for frame up
Historical Examples
  • Is there any way that we could frame up and get him ruled off?

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • "We'll frame up those telegrams now and get them off," he told them.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • He was the only man in camp that did not know that the affair was a "frame up."

  • "I can't see what there is to frame up," retorted Burt hopelessly.

    The Blind Lion of the Congo Elliott Whitney
  • I merely wanted to frame up to you how this thing's going to turn out.

    Bucky O'Connor William MacLeod Raine
  • 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
  • The frame up to this time had consisted generally of conventional branches with bosses at the corners.

  • But he'd scheme a week to frame up a deal to cheat the city out of a hundred dollars.

    One Way Out William Carleton
  • I was again told in confidence that the Canadian Division was expected to frame up an attack on this justly named road.

    The Red Watch J. A. Currie
  • I suppose they wanted me to get out on the warpath so they could frame up some story about self-defense.

    The Orphan Clarence E. Mulford
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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