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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce frayed (audio)

Dictionary definition of frayed

Worn, tattered, or unraveling at the edges or seams.
"The frayed relationship between the two siblings could be felt in every conversation."

Detailed meaning of frayed

It suggests a state of deterioration or damage caused by continuous use, friction, or age. When an item or material is frayed, its threads or fibers become separated or broken, resulting in a ragged or fringed appearance. This can occur with fabrics, ropes, or other materials that experience repeated stress or abrasion. The term "frayed" can also be used metaphorically to describe the state of a person's nerves or emotions when they are exhausted or strained. It implies a sense of fragility, vulnerability, or weariness. Overall, frayed conveys a visual image of something becoming worn out or coming apart at the edges, reflecting both physical and emotional states of disrepair.

Example sentences containing frayed

1. The frayed edges of the old book hinted at its long history.
2. She nervously twirled a frayed strand of hair between her fingers.
3. The frayed hem of his jeans gave them a distressed, fashionable look.
4. The frayed rope held on by a few remaining threads, barely supporting the weight.
5. Her frayed nerves made it difficult for her to concentrate.
6. The frayed shoelaces kept coming undone, causing him to trip repeatedly.

History and etymology of frayed

The adjective 'frayed' has its origins in the Old French word 'freier,' which meant 'to rub' or 'to wear down.' This Old French term was derived from the Latin word 'fricare,' meaning 'to rub' or 'to chafe.' Over time, as materials like fabric or ropes were subjected to constant rubbing or wear, their edges or seams would become worn, tattered, or unravel, leading to the emergence of the word 'frayed' in Middle English. The etymology of 'frayed' highlights its connection to the process of wear and tear, particularly at the edges or seams of objects, resulting in a worn, ragged, or unraveling appearance.

Quiz: Find the meaning of frayed

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Further usage examples of frayed

1. The frayed carpet in the hallway needed to be replaced.
2. The frayed wires posed a safety hazard and needed to be fixed immediately.
3. He was exhausted, his patience frayed after a long day of work.
4. The frayed edges of the flag fluttered in the wind, showing signs of age.
5. The frayed seat cushion made the old armchair look worn and shabby.
6. The frayed edges of the old book hinted at its countless readings.
7. Her frayed nerves couldn't handle another surprise like that.
8. The frayed rope held on, but just barely, as they pulled.
9. Time had left the painting's colors muted and its edges frayed.
10. He ran a hand through his frayed hair, lost in thought.
11. The frayed hem of her jeans gave them a rugged charm.
12. The frayed friendship needed some mending.
13. The frayed map was barely usable on their journey.
14. The frayed scarf still carried the warmth of winters past.
15. The old flag fluttered, its stripes frayed by the wind.
16. The frayed curtains let in beams of dusty sunlight.
17. She clutched the frayed letter, her last connection to him.
18. His patience was as frayed as the edges of his patience.
19. The frayed threads of tradition bound them together.
20. The frayed seat of the chair had seen better days.
21. Her frayed sweater was a cozy reminder of her grandmother.
22. The frayed nerves of the team showed in their performance.
23. The frayed edges of the world's problems seemed insurmountable.
24. The frayed shoelaces needed replacing after years of use.
25. The frayed memories of childhood lingered in her mind.



tattered, intact, pristine, perfect


SAT 1 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Damage and Destruction, Decline and Decay

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