Origin of fray1
historical usage of fray
This fray was borrowed into English from an Anglo-French word with the various meanings “to disturb,” “to attack,” and also “to frighten.” The past participle of this same word ( affrayed, meaning “alarmed”) became, in English, afraid.
While nowadays frays are things that people willingly “enter” or “join” or even “throw themselves into,” early in its history the fear aspect dominated. And so, in the 1300s, one could speak of frayes and dredes (fears and dreads) and in the 1500s, one might find a fray-boggard (fear-goblin) in the garden, a frightening specter better known to us as a scarecrow.
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH frayfrays , phrase
Words nearby fray
Other definitions for fray (2 of 2)
Origin of fray2
historical usage of fray
This fray is closely related to the word friction, as both have as a common ancestor the Latin fricāre, meaning “to rub.” It makes sense—given enough friction, things will begin to fray. But language isn’t always so neat. One early sense of fray that existed in the 1400s, but which has since fallen out of use, meant “to bruise” (as in, with our strokes we shall fray him ). In a translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses dating from the 1500s, this very same sense in a different context is used to mean “deflower” (deprive of virginity). Can we connect the dots from rub to bruise to deflower? Therein lies the rub.
OTHER WORDS FROM frayfrayed, adjective
How to use fray in a sentence
As the title suggests, Above the Clouds is about Jornet’s lifelong journey to rise above the fray, not just as an elite competitor but as an individual trying to find his moral bearing in a world that pulls him in other directions.Kilian Jornet Has a New Book on His Epic Everest Quest|Nick Heil|September 29, 2020|Outside Online
Most of all, Gandhi says, she wants to rise above the fray and inform.The Importance of Face Masks and the Tragedy of Downplaying Them - Issue 90: Something Green|Kevin Berger|September 23, 2020|Nautilus
Of course, with Disney, NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS each operating their own ad-supported streamers, and Discovery and WarnerMedia primed to join the fray, the advertisers could simply redirect their dollars within the TV network groups.How the future of TV and streaming has – and hasn’t – been reshaped so far by 2020|Tim Peterson|September 16, 2020|Digiday
Democratic ideologies like free access to news and funding journalism are being flung back and forth in the fray.State of play: Where the battle with Google and Facebook to pay for news is hottest|Lucinda Southern|September 7, 2020|Digiday
Kennedy spoke to Fortune about her decision to enter the political fray, Congress’s need for more lawmakers who understand technology, and her centrist worldview.Brynne Kennedy could be the first female tech founder to serve in Congress|ehinchliffe|August 24, 2020|Fortune
Abramson, biting her tongue, was widely portrayed in rival outlets as classily above the fray.
Many more German divisions would enter the fray over the next few days.
It is not at all hard to anticipate additional forces—Turkmens and others—joining the fray in the future.
As is often the case when the letter and the spirit of the law begin to fray, legal creativity gets called upon to mend them.Catholic University’s Harvey Milk Ban Reflects A Church In Transition|Jay Michaelson|October 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As soon as the government announced the sad story, for example, conspiracy theorists jumped into the fray.Measles Vaccine Mix-Up Kills Dozens of Syrian Children|Kent Sepkowitz|September 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Dost turn awayThy eyes, in horror, from the doubtful fray?Ye gods, ye gods.The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi|Giacomo Leopardi
Lechmere looks anxious for the fray, and I should say from the expression on his face that he has a knife up his sleeve.The Weight of the Crown|Fred M. White
After the examination, Wallace observed that the girls had taken advantage of the fray to make their escape.Hunted and Harried|R.M. Ballantyne
One room would challenge another, and stripping the covers off their bolsters, would meet in mortal fray.Eric, or Little by Little|Frederic W. Farrar
Fray Antonio, aroused by the approach of danger, quickly seized his rifle, and also got behind the tree.The Border Rifles|Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for fray (1 of 2)
Word Origin for fray
British Dictionary definitions for fray (2 of 2)
Word Origin for fray
Other Idioms and Phrases with fray
see enter the lists (fray).