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as in: frayed cloth Define
showing wear with threads beginning to separate and hang loose
  • The cuffs were frayed from so many washings.
  • I’m not trusting my life to that frayed rope!

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  • She likes frayed jeans.
  • He wore shabby black clothes, with holes at the elbows of his coat and frayed trousers.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • "It is very pretty, madam," said he, gravely examining it; "but I do not think it will wash well; I am afraid it will fray."
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • Her jeans are fraying at the hem and have a safety pin through the fly where they’re missing a button.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Before I Fall
  • She’s inspecting the fraying border of one of her dish towels.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Delirium
  • This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • I am a flag fraying against the sky.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • Already frayed on the cushion, wobbly in the struts, its wooden legs scratched, no one except Grandma ever sat in it.
    Victor Martinez  --  Parrot in the Oven

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  • my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more,
    go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until
    I can finish off this web .
    so my weaving won’t all fray and come to nothing.
    This is a shroud for old lord Laertes, for that day
    when the deadly fate that lays us out at last will take him down.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • That night she and her father wind up the twisting staircase and go to bed side by side on the same lumpy bed in the same sixth-floor bedroom with the fraying silk wallpaper.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • She has read Around the World in Eighty Days until the Braille is soft and fraying; for this year’s birthday, her father has bought her an even fatter book: Dumas’s The Three Musketeers.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • Three frayed electrical leads sprout from the top.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • ...and gave him a staff and beggar’s sack,
    torn and tattered, slung from a fraying rope.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • he flung his beggar’s sack across his shoulders—
    torn and tattered, slung from a fraying rope.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • He threw his beggar’s sack across his shoulders—
    torn and tattered, slung from a fraying rope—
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more,
    go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until
    I can finish off this web .
    so my weaving won’t all fray and come to nothing.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • my suitors, now that King Odysseus is no more,
    go slowly, keen as you are to marry me, until
    I can finish off this web .
    so my weaving won’t all fray and come to nothing.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
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as in: frayed nerves Define
emotionally strained (worn thin)
  • The constant pressure has frayed her nerves.
  • Their relationship is fraying.

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  • We need more than such frayed reasoning to take such a step.
  • He looked like he was fraying at the edges.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • His nerves are frayed.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • "You’ve got until sunrise," said Magnus, temper visibly fraying.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • Your patience would fray, you’d soon head for home .
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • That was before we knew about the fraying wires in his skull.
    Laurie Halse Anderson  --  The Impossible Knife of Memory
  • Every morning it’s the same: the Americans ever closer, the Germans fraying at the seams.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • His voice trailed off, but I picked up the frayed ends of his thought all the same—how could I not?
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds

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  • I tried to stay calm, but the way he spat the word out—Blue—rankled my already frayed nerves.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
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as in: into the fray Define
a noisy fight, controversial debate, or other exciting situation
  • 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.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View

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  • He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray.
    Job 39:21 (NIV)
  • not in the fury of any mortal fray, but in an elemental strife at sea.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Jason didn’t really understand, but he nodded, and Will and Nico dashed off into the fray.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Blood of Olympus
  • The Mask removes himself from the fray, rubbing his jaw.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • Thomas carefully got into position and followed suit, shooting into the fray of dancing electricity that now crackled on the far side of the doors.
    James Dashner  --  The Death Cure
    Margaret Peterson Haddix  --  Uprising
  • I couldn’t imagine having to discuss the divorce with Rand and Marybeth, as they certainly would insert themselves into the fray.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • He willingly ran out into the fray for me, for all of us.
    Kiera Cass  --  The One

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  • The officer motioned to two other guards, and they followed him as he ran toward the fray.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Heir
  • The man had charged forward and leaped into the fray, taking down half the people trying to get to Mark.
    James Dashner  --  The Kill Order
  • Meanwhile Angeline picked herself up and joined the fray.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • Her frown deepened when she discovered the Captain of the Guard smirking as they walked into the fray of the readying company.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • Two of them took him down and another two jumped into the fray.
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client
  • As they took a step toward the fray, he bumbled absentmindedly into their way, hand lightly resting on his dirk.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • A gang of kids, little thieves in training, flutters through the fray with sticky, searching fingers.
    Victoria Aveyard  --  Red Queen
  • She waded into the fray and whacked Mr. Klaus over the head with Mary Ann.
    Kate DiCamillo  --  Flora & Ulysses
  • The medical staff tried to help the wounded get back into the fray.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • Hans Hubermann entered the fray.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • The guards lift me up above the fray, where I continue to thrash as I’m conveyed over the crush of people.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • Aouda had escaped unharmed, and Fix alone bore marks of the fray in his black and blue bruise.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • With much much more dismay I view the fight than thou that mak’st the fray.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Merchant of Venice
  • He hurtled into the fray, snatching up a sun dragon in each claw.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Lost Hero
  • Without them I wouldn’t be able to jump back into the fray with my usual composure.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Then Beorn stooped and lifted Thorin, who had fallen pierced with spears, and bore him out of the fray.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Hobbit
  • The dogs dashed forward to join the fray, whatever it was; and not long were we in doubt.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • A globule of indigo fire struck the ground in the midst of the fray, bursting into a fountain of molten drops that dissipated like sun-warmed dew.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • Breaking free of the crowd, he veered toward Lance when all at once a girl stepped forward into the fray.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Last Song
  • Will they forge you the sword of your deliverance, will they marshal you the army and lead it to the fray?
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • And they imagined that they were singing to fellow officers fresh from the fray.
    Kurt Vonnegut  --  Slaughterhouse-Five
  • A good Roman should be in the fray, gutting his enemy with spear and sword like a civilized man!
    Rick Riordan  --  The Son of Neptune
  • ’Don’t let him bite his tongue off,’ a short sergeant near Yossarian advised shrewdly, and a seventh man threw himself into the fray to wrestle with the ill lieutenant’s face.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • As usual, he took the point position himself, determined to be the first into the fray if, as he fervently hoped, a fray developed.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • A steady, though deliberate return was made from the rifle of Chingachgook, who had maintained his post throughout the fray with unmoved resolution.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • Sammy cursed for a while, or left the house, or threw himself into the fray.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
    William Shakespeare  --  The Taming of the Shrew
  • We only love the fray so long as there is danger, and in any case, the combatants of the first hour have alone the right to be the exterminators of the last.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • As he raced up the steps to the school, he was vaguely aware of two other patrol officers bucking the chief’s commands and joining him in the fray.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • This time, I shall enter the fray myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman, and child who has tried to conceal you from me.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Eragon followed the fray with breathless anticipation, awed by the ants’ bravery and how they continued to fight in spite of injuries that would incapacitate a human.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • In a house that was hard by the tree, they found sixteen or seventeen Indians, who had been concerned in the fray, two or three of them being wounded, were not gone to sleep: this house they set on fire first, and in a few minutes after, five or six places more in the town appeared in flames.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • Across the room Harry saw Tonks fall from halfway up the stone steps, her limp form toppling from stone seat to stone seat and Bellatrix, triumphant, running back towards the fray.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • By half-past two they were all ready for the fray.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • His guards had gone to join in the fray.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Two Towers
  • While John masters the fierce intimacies of a freshman dorm, Zayd seems to stand above the fray.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • 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.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Many a time my husband stood aside unable to face the fray: if I had not reproached him his distaste of the whole procedure would have led him to starvation.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • JOCASTA Tell me first how rose the fray.
    Sophocles  --  Oedipus the King
  • Here then Strife and Uproar joined the fray, and ghastly Fate, that kept a man with wounds alive, and one unwounded, and another dragged by the heels through battle-din in death.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
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  • Still, Snow Flower wore it with ease until it started to fade and fray.
    Lisa See  --  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • I remember the questions and the answers I had to learn, and I remember the well-thumbed, frayed book that was sacred to me.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Take the Tortillas out of Your Poetry

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  • It was connected to the rest of the machine by what looked like frayed grey rope.
    Mal Peet  --  Tamar
  • They used steel cables, frayed at the ends.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Simon pulled one gangly leg up and twisted the frayed edge of the hole in the knee of his jeans.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • He wore jeans with holes in them and fraying hems, which usually meant he was planning to spend the day without leaving his apartment.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • Now she was back in uniform: jeans with frayed cuffs, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a caramel leather jacket.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • Helen, this is Clary Fray.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Lost Souls
  • — Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • What is a fray? an oscillation?
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables

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  • Thus ended this bloody fray; and thus shall end the fifth book of this history.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • Ann and I dare not enter this fray.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • When I get closer to them, I see that they’re worn and frayed at the edges.
    Veronica Roth  --  Allegiant
  • Somewhere along the line, the string on my cross started fraying and coming apart, so I took it off.
    Gaby Rodriguez  --  The Pregnancy Project
  • When his vision finally cleared, though, he saw only the outline of a post on the dock, fraying ropes tied at the top.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Best of Me
  • Mattie sat in her frayed brocade armchair, pushed up to the front window, and watched her friend’s brave approach through the dusty screen.
    Gloria Naylor  --  The Women of Brewster Place
  • We were sitting on the ribbed wooden floor, on frayed, stained blankets used to wrap furniture, feeling for one another with our hands.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • Maester Luwin looked worn-out and frayed.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • She was dressed like a tavern wench in a heavy roughspun cloak, badly dyed in mottled browns and fraying at the hem.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • The collar of his robe was frayed, and one sleeve had been torn and badly sewn.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • "Oh, it was a rare fight, m’lady," he said, "a rare and bloody fray."
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • A boy came, younger than Dany, slight and scarred, dressed up in a frayed grey tokar trailing silver fringe.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • I tore the LED bulbs out of one and left the two frayed power wires very close together.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • "Try this on," she said, and tossed him the green sweater, slightly less frayed than the rest.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • That’s what Jace Wayland tells Clary Fray at the end of the first book of the Shadowhunters chronicles, City of Bones.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • The collar must have been really big, like disco-big, because she’d cut it, and it was fraying.
    Rainbow Rowell  --  Eleanor & Park
  • She was about sixty, with long white hair, full and frayed, pulled into a ponytail.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • "I’m so sorry," she said, repeating it three times, her voice raw, a fraying rope.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Hollow City
  • Ben was sitting on a stump, huddled in his frayed brown cloak.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • By the time we reach the front door of the building, I’m already sweating and my nerves are frayed.
    Susan Ee  --  Angelfall
  • "Are they too tight?" he asked, his brusque tone frayed by a note of sympathy that made Clarke’s chest ache.
    Kass Morgan  --  The 100
  • Palmer tore off the paper to reveal an old, frayed shoe box.
    Jerry Spinelli  --  Wringer
  • Now, having run out of things to say, she was standing at her desk with her frayed shawl clasped around her shoulders.
    Jeanne DuPrau  --  The City of Ember
  • One man looked poorer than the others; the cuffs of his coat were frayed and his hands were stained with ink.
    Laurie Halse Anderson  --  Chains
  • The floor was a rope bridge, frayed and twisting.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • The weeds frayed and edged back toward their roots.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Grapes of Wrath
  • Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coat-sleeve.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Inked characters fast fading on the frayed breaking paper.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Felicitously he ceased and held a meek head among them, auk’s egg, prize of their fray.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • "It is very pretty, madam," said he, gravely examining it; "but I do not think it will wash well; I am afraid it will fray."
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • A frayed top-hat and a faded brown overcoat with a wrinkled velvet collar lay upon a chair beside him.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • He was clad in a professional but rather slovenly fashion, for his frock-coat was dingy and his trousers frayed.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Although I am fifteen feet ahead of him, anyone watching us from the cottonhouse can see Jewel’s frayed and broken straw hat a full head above my own.
    William Faulkner  --  As I Lay Dying
  • All they ever really saw of the soldier in white was a frayed black hole over his mouth.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Father is walking around in frayed trousers, and his tie is also showing signs of wear and tear.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Wrapping twine hung from it like a frayed decoration.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • Winky was twisting the hem of her tea towel so violently that it was fraying beneath her fingers.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • He is dressed in threadbare black clothes and his white shirt is frayed at collar and cuffs, but everything about him is fastidiously clean.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • The orange blossoms were yellow with dust and the silver bordered satin ribbons frayed at the edges.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
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