fret

2 [fret]
noun
1.
an interlaced, angular design; fretwork.
2.
an angular design of bands within a border.
3.
Heraldry. a charge composed of two diagonal strips interlacing with and crossing at the center of a mascle.
4.
a piece of decoratively pierced work placed in a clock case to deaden the sound of the mechanism.
verb (used with object), fretted, fretting.
5.
to ornament with a fret or fretwork.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English frette < ?; compare Middle French frete trellis-work, Old English fretwian, variant of frætwian to adorn

fretless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

fret

3 [fret]
noun
1.
any of the ridges of wood, metal, or string, set across the fingerboard of a guitar, lute, or similar instrument, which help the fingers to stop the strings at the correct points.
verb (used with object), fretted, fretting.
2.
to provide with frets.

Origin:
1490–1500; origin uncertain

fretless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fret1 (frɛt)
 
vb , frets, fretting, fretted
1.  to distress or be distressed; worry
2.  to rub or wear away
3.  to irritate or be irritated; feel or give annoyance or vexation
4.  to eat away or be eaten away by chemical action; corrode
5.  (intr) (of a road surface) to become loose so that potholes develop; scab
6.  to agitate (water) or (of water) to be agitated
7.  (tr) to make by wearing away; erode
 
n
8.  a state of irritation or anxiety
9.  the result of fretting; corrosion
10.  a hole or channel caused by fretting
 
[Old English fretan to eat; related to Old High German frezzan, Gothic fraitan, Latin peredere]

fret2 (frɛt)
 
n
1.  a repetitive geometrical figure, esp one used as an ornamental border
2.  such a pattern made in relief and with numerous small openings; fretwork
3.  heraldry a charge on a shield consisting of a mascle crossed by a saltire
 
vb , frets, fretting, fretted
4.  (tr) to ornament with fret or fretwork
 
[C14: from Old French frete interlaced design used on a shield, probably of Germanic origin]
 
'fretless2
 
adj

fret3 (frɛt)
 
n
any of several small metal bars set across the fingerboard of a musical instrument of the lute, guitar, or viol family at various points along its length so as to produce the desired notes when the strings are stopped by the fingers
 
[C16: of unknown origin]
 
'fretless3
 
adj

fret4 (frɛt)
 
n
short for sea fret

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fret
O.E. fretan "eat, devour" (in O.E., used of monsters and Vikings; in M.E., used of animals' eating), from P.Gmc. compound *fra- "for-" + *etan "to eat" (cf. Du. vreton, O.H.G. freggan, Ger. fressen, Goth. fraitan). Figurative sense of "irritate, worry, eat one's heart out" is c.1200. Modern German still
distinguishes essen for humans and fressen for animals. Related: Fretted; fretting.

fret
"ornamental interlaced pattern," late 14c., from O.Fr. frete "interlaced work, trellis work," probably from Frank. *fetur (cf. O.E. fetor, O.H.G. feggara "fetter") perhaps from notion of "decorative anklet," or of materials "bound" together. The other noun, "ridge on the fingerboard of a guitar," is
c.1500 of unknown origin but possibly another sense of O.Fr. frete.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for fretless
But on the fretless oud it is very difficult to intonate them correctly.
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