Definition of fray verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    fray

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//freɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//freɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fray
    BrE BrE//freɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//freɪ//
     
    he / she / it frays
    BrE BrE//freɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//freɪz//
     
    past simple frayed
    BrE BrE//freɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//freɪd//
     
    past participle frayed
    BrE BrE//freɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//freɪd//
     
    -ing form fraying
    BrE BrE//ˈfreɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfreɪɪŋ//
     
     
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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 somebody’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.
  3. Word Originverb late Middle English: from Old French freiier, from Latin fricare ‘to rub’.Idioms
    fray at/around the edges/seams
     
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    to start to come apart or to fail Support for the leader was fraying at the edges.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fray