"to profit, be helpful, make progress," from fram
"vigorous, bold," originally "going forward;" influenced by related O.E. fremman
"help forward, promote, further, do, perform, accomplish," and by O.N. fremja
"to further, execute" (see from
). Sense focused in M.E. from "make ready" to "prepare timber for building" (late 14c.). Meaning of "compose, devise" is first attested 1540s. The noun meaning "established order, plan" and that of "human body" are both first recorded 1590s; originally the noun meant "the rack" (late 14c.). Meaning "building" is from early 15c.; that of "border or case for a picture or pane of glass" is from c.1600. Of bicycles, from 1871; of motor cars, from 1900. The criminal slang sense of "blame an innocent person" (1920s) is probably from earlier sense of "plot in secret" (1900), perhaps ultimately from meaning "fabricate a story with evil intent," first attested 1510s. Related: Framed
. Frame of reference
is 1897, from mechanics and graphing; the figurative sense is attested from 1924.