- a public fight; a noisy quarrel; brawl.
- Law. the fighting of two or more persons in a public place.
- Archaic. to frighten.
Origin of affray
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsdisturbance, riot, clash, melee, brawl, ruckus, scuffle, skirmish, assault, altercation, fracas, battle, attack, encounter, quarrel, donnybrook
Examples from the Web for affray
She dragged the girl away out of sight, and left her while she returned to the affray.The Law-Breakers
The affray had burst over the slumbering town like a thunderclap.The Fortune of the Rougons
Many Indians were killed or wounded in this affray, but it is not known how many.King Philip
John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
That we had some hurt of such an affray goes without saying.The House Under the Sea
Sir Max Pemberton
Hanson had learned all about the affray, as everyone else in town seemed to have done.The Spoilers of the Valley
- law a fight, noisy quarrel, or disturbance between two or more persons in a public place
- (tr) archaic to frighten
Word Origin and History for affray
c.1300, "state of alarm produced by a sudden disturbance," from Old French effrei, esfrei "disturbance, fright," from esfreer (v.) "to worry, concern, trouble, disturb," from Vulgar Latin *exfridare, literally "to take out of peace," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + Frankish *frithu "peace," from Proto-Germanic *frithuz "peace, consideration, forbearance" (cf. Old Saxon frithu, Old English friðu, Old High German fridu "peace, truce"), from PIE root *pri- "to be friendly, love" (see free (adj.)). Meaning "breach of the peace, riotous fight in public" is from late 15c. Related verb afrey (early 14c.) survives almost exclusively in its past participle, afraid (q.v.).