[ dih-frey ]
/ dɪˈfreɪ /

verb (used with object)

to bear or pay all or part of (the costs, expenses, etc.): The grant helped defray the expenses of the trip.


Nearby words

  1. deformity,
  2. defra,
  3. defrag,
  4. defragment,
  5. defraud,
  6. defrayal,
  7. defriend,
  8. defrock,
  9. defrost,
  10. defroster

Origin of defray

1535–45; < Middle French défrayer, Old French deffroier to pay costs, equivalent to de- dis-1 + frayer to bear the costs, derivative of frais, fres (plural) costs, probably < Latin frācta things broken (see fracture), hence, expense incurred from breakage

Related formsde·fray·a·ble, adjectivede·fray·er, nounpre·de·fray, verb (used with object)un·de·frayed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defray

British Dictionary definitions for defray


/ (dɪˈfreɪ) /


(tr) to furnish or provide money for (costs, expenses, etc); pay
Derived Formsdefrayable, adjectivedefrayal or defrayment, noundefrayer, noun

Word Origin for defray

C16: from Old French deffroier to pay expenses, from de- dis- 1 + frai expenditure, originally: cost incurred through breaking something, from Latin frangere to break

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

Word Origin and History for defray



1540s, from Middle French defraier (15c.), from de- "out" (see de-) + fraier "spend," from Old French frais "costs, damages caused by breakage," from Latin fractum, neuter past participle of frangere "to break" (see fraction). Alternative etymology traces second element to Old High German fridu "peace," via Vulgar Latin *fredum "fine, cost."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper