verb (used with object), framed, fram·ing.

verb (used without object), framed, fram·ing.

Archaic. to betake oneself; resort.
Archaic. to prepare, attempt, give promise, or manage to do something.

Nearby words

  1. fraktur,
  2. frambesia,
  3. frambesioma,
  4. framboesia,
  5. framboise,
  6. frame aerial,
  7. frame house,
  8. frame line,
  9. frame of mind,
  10. frame of reference

Origin of frame

before 1000; 1910–15 for def 8; 1920–25 for def 25; (v.) Middle English framen to prepare (timber), Old English framian to avail, profit; cognate with Old Norse frama to further, Old High German (gi)framōn to do; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frame

British Dictionary definitions for frame



an open structure that gives shape and support to something, such as the transverse stiffening ribs of a ship's hull or an aircraft's fuselage or the skeletal beams and uprights of a building
an enclosing case or border into which something is fittedthe frame of a picture
the system around which something is built upthe frame of government
the structure of the human body
a condition; state (esp in the phrase frame of mind)
  1. one of a series of individual exposures on a strip of film used in making motion pictures
  2. an individual exposure on a film used in still photography
  3. an individual picture in a comic strip
  1. a television picture scanned by one or more electron beams at a particular frequency
  2. the area of the picture so formed
billiards snooker
  1. the wooden triangle used to set up the balls
  2. the balls when set up
  3. a single game finished when all the balls have been pottedUS and Canadian equivalent (for senses 8a, 8b): rack
computing (on a website) a self-contained section that functions independently from other parts; by using frames, a website designer can make some areas of a website remain constant while others change according to the choices made by the internet user
short for cold frame
one of the sections of which a beehive is composed, esp one designed to hold a honeycomb
a machine or part of a machine over which yarn is stretched in the production of textiles
(in language teaching, etc) a syntactic construction with a gap in it, used for assigning words to syntactic classes by seeing which words may fill the gap
statistics an enumeration of a population for the purposes of sampling, esp as the basis of a stratified sample
(in telecommunications, computers, etc) one cycle of a regularly recurring number of pulses in a pulse train
slang another word for frame-up
obsolete shape; form
in the frame likely to be awarded or to achieveI'm in the frame for the top job

verb (mainly tr)

to construct by fitting parts together
to draw up the plans or basic details for; outlineto frame a policy
to compose, contrive, or conceiveto frame a reply
to provide, support, or enclose with a frameto frame a picture
to form (words) with the lips, esp silently
slang to conspire to incriminate (someone) on a false charge
slang to contrive the dishonest outcome of (a contest, match, etc); rig
(intr) Yorkshire and Northeast English dialect
  1. (usually imperative or dependent imperative)to make an effort
  2. to have ability
Derived Formsframable or frameable, adjectiveframeless, adjectiveframer, noun

Word Origin for frame

Old English framiae to avail; related to Old Frisian framia to carry out, Old Norse frama



Janet . 1924–2004, and New Zealand writer: author of the novels Owls Do Cry (1957) and Faces in the Water (1961), the collection of verse The Pocket (1967), and volumes of autobiography including An Angel at My Table (1984), which was made into a film in 1990
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 frame
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for frame




Something composed of parts fitted and joined together.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.