Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.
1. A fight; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.
2. A heated dispute or intensely competitive situation: "Minneapolis became the latest battleground in the fray over bio-engineering as hundreds of protesters took to the streets" (Todd Wilkinson).
3. A military engagement; a battle.
tr.v. frayed, fray·ing, frays Archaic
1. To alarm; frighten.
2. To drive away.
[Middle English frai, shortening of affrai; see affray.]
v. frayed, fray·ing, frays
1. To strain; chafe: repeated noises that fray the nerves.
2. To wear away (the edges of fabric, for example) by rubbing.
To become worn away or tattered along the edges.
A frayed or threadbare spot, as on fabric.
[Middle English fraien, to wear, bruise, from Old French fraier, to rub, from Latin fricāre.]