follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

affray

[uh-frey] /əˈfreɪ/
noun
1.
a public fight; a noisy quarrel; brawl.
2.
Law. the fighting of two or more persons in a public place.
verb (used with object)
3.
Archaic. to frighten.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English < Anglo-French afray (noun), afrayer (v.), Old French esfrei (noun), esfreer (v.) < Vulgar Latin *exfridāre to break the peace, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -frid- peace (< Germanic; compare German Friede) + -āre infinitive suffix
Synonyms
1. row, fracas, altercation, melee.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for affray
  • The shop has the atmosphere of an interspecies affray waiting to happen: the noise and the pong.
British Dictionary definitions for affray

affray

/əˈfreɪ/
noun
1.
(law) a fight, noisy quarrel, or disturbance between two or more persons in a public place
verb
2.
(transitive) (archaic) to frighten
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Vulgar Latin exfridāre (unattested) to break the peace; compare German Friede peace
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for affray
n.

c.1300, "state of alarm produced by a sudden disturbance," from Old French effrei, esfrei "disturbance, fright," from esfreer (v.) "to worry, concern, trouble, disturb," from Vulgar Latin *exfridare, literally "to take out of peace," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + Frankish *frithu "peace," from Proto-Germanic *frithuz "peace, consideration, forbearance" (cf. Old Saxon frithu, Old English friðu, Old High German fridu "peace, truce"), from PIE root *pri- "to be friendly, love" (see free (adj.)). Meaning "breach of the peace, riotous fight in public" is from late 15c. Related verb afrey (early 14c.) survives almost exclusively in its past participle, afraid (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for affray

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for affray

15
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for affray