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[dih-frey] /dɪˈfreɪ/
verb (used with object)
to bear or pay all or part of (the costs, expenses, etc.):
The grant helped defray the expenses of the trip.
Origin of defray
1535-45; < Middle French défrayer, Old French deffroier to pay costs, equivalent to de- dis-1 + frayer to bear the costs, derivative of frais, fres (plural) costs, probably < Latin frācta things broken (see fracture), hence, expense incurred from breakage
Related forms
defrayable, adjective
defrayer, noun
predefray, verb (used with object)
undefrayed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for defray
  • Many company-owned aircraft are made available to rental firms to help defray the cost.
  • The entry fee helps defray the cost of running the photo contest.
  • Your local water provider may even offer a rebate to help defray the cost.
  • The grand-geeks kicked in with some help on this matter to help us defray costs.
  • The increases have driven publishers to look for ways to defray or avoid the postal increases.
  • If you could defray the costs over the lifetime of the home, you would choose to invest in the windows.
  • Revenue from the existing ad space and newsstands within the system could be used to help defray some of the costs.
  • Perry said he was counting on federal help to defray much of the cost.
  • Vending machines are often considered a necessary evil, because their revenues help defray other school costs.
  • Both would pump money into the system and help defray the costs of reform.
British Dictionary definitions for defray


(transitive) to furnish or provide money for (costs, expenses, etc); pay
Derived Forms
defrayable, adjective
defrayal, defrayment, noun
defrayer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French deffroier to pay expenses, from de-dis-1 + frai expenditure, originally: cost incurred through breaking something, from Latin frangere to break
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
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Word Origin and History for defray

1540s, from Middle French defraier (15c.), from de- "out" (see de-) + fraier "spend," from Old French frais "costs, damages caused by breakage," from Latin fractum, neuter past participle of frangere "to break" (see fraction). Alternative etymology traces second element to Old High German fridu "peace," via Vulgar Latin *fredum "fine, cost."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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