a noisy fight, controversial debate, or other exciting situation
The encamisados were all timid folk and unarmed, so they speedily made their escape from the fray and set off at a run across the plain with their lighted torches, looking exactly like maskers running on some gala or festival night.
Don Quixote, observing the respectful bearing of the Alcaide of the fortress (for so innkeeper and inn seemed in his eyes), made answer, "Sir Castellan, for me anything will suffice, for ’My armour is my only wear, My only rest the fray.’
One morning as Don Quixote went out for a stroll along the beach, arrayed in full armour (for, as he often said, that was "his only gear, his only rest the fray," and he never was without it for a moment), he saw coming towards him a knight, also in full armour, with a shining moon painted on his shield, who, on approaching sufficiently near to be heard, said in a loud voice, addressing himself to Don Quixote, "Illustrious knight, and never sufficiently extolled Don Quixote of La…
"That I can well understand," answered Sancho; "but where shall we put this ass where we may be sure to find him after the fray is over? for I believe it has not been the custom so far to go into battle on a beast of this kind."
He was encouraged in this by perceiving that the stock of provisions carried by the ass had come safe out of the fray with the galley slaves, a circumstance that he regarded as a miracle, seeing how they pillaged and ransacked.
There are no more uses of "fray" identified with this meaning in the book.
Show samples from other sources
I’m hesitant to join the fray.
But if she rushed into the fray herself she would be first censured, then despised, and finally ignored.