[fraz-uh l]Informal.

verb (used with or without object), fraz·zled, fraz·zling.

to wear to threads or shreds; fray.
to weary; tire out: Those six eight-year-olds frazzled me.


the state of being frazzled or worn-out.
a remnant; shred.

Origin of frazzle

1815–25; blend of fray2 and fazzle, Middle English faselin to unravel, cognate with German faseln Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frazzle

Historical Examples of frazzle

  • In the first few weeks my artist's ears and eyes and soul were hazed to a frazzle.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • From school she went to college and worked herself to a frazzle.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • He'll ketch the thief, for he's sartainly got Sherlock Holmes beat to a frazzle.

  • "Well, next time don't stay till you're worn to a frazzle," she said.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham

  • Face the supernatural—and it is beaten to a frazzle before the fight begins.

British Dictionary definitions for frazzle



informal to make or become exhausted or weary; tire out
a less common word for fray 2 (def. 1)


informal the state of being frazzled or exhausted
a frayed end or remnant
to a frazzle informal absolutely; completely (esp in the phrase burnt to a frazzle)

Word Origin for frazzle

C19: probably from Middle English faselen to fray, from fasel fringe; influenced by fray ²
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 frazzle

c.1825, "to unravel" (of clothing), from East Anglian variant of 17c. fasel "to unravel, fray" (as the end of a rope), from Middle English facelyn "to fray" (mid-15c.), from fasylle "fringe, frayed edge," diminutive of Old English fæs "fringe." Related: Frazzled, frazzling. Cf. German Faser "thread, fiber, filament," Middle Dutch vese "fringe, fiber, chaff." Probably influenced in form by fray (v.). As a noun, from 1865, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper