• synonyms


See more synonyms for defray on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to bear or pay all or part of (the costs, expenses, etc.): The grant helped defray the expenses of the trip.
Show More

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for defray

Historical Examples

  • Dr Franklin will defray the expense to which this may put you.

    The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX


  • There were thus three couples, and the three gentlemen were to defray all expenses.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • A tax was even levied to defray the expenses of the ceremony.

  • The revenues of the Union he found sufficient to defray all the current expenses.

    Albert Gallatin

    John Austin Stevens

  • I will defray all the expenses, and will pay the reward I offered, too.

    The Last Woman

    Ross Beeckman

British Dictionary definitions for defray


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

Word Origin

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."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper