American English

Definition of fray verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fray
    he / she / it frays
    past simple frayed
    -ing form fraying
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] if cloth frays or something frays it, the threads in it start to come apart The cuffs of his shirt were fraying. This material frays easily. fray something It was fashionable to fray the bottoms of your jeans.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] fray (something) if someone's nerves or temper frays or something frays them, the person starts to get irritated or annoyed As the debate went on, tempers began to fray.
    adjective frayed denim shorts Tempers were getting very frayed.
  4. Idioms
    fray around/at the edges
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    to start to come apart or to fail Support for the governor was fraying around the edges.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: fray