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From Middle English afraien ‎(to terrify, frighten), from Anglo-Norman afrayer ‎(to terrify, disquiet, disturb), from Old French effreer, esfreer ‎(to disturb, remove the peace from), from es- ‎(ex-) + freer ‎(to secure, secure the peace), from Frankish *friþu ‎(security, peace), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz ‎(peace), from Proto-Germanic *frijōną ‎(to free; to love), from Proto-Indo-European *prāy-, *prēy- ‎(to like, love). Cognate with Old High German fridu ‎(peace), Old English friþ ‎(peace, frith), Old English frēod ‎(peace, friendship), German Friede ‎(peace). Compare also afear. More at free, friend.



affray ‎(plural affrays)

  1. The act of suddenly disturbing any one; an assault or attack.
  2. A tumultuous assault or quarrel.
  3. The fighting of two or more persons, in a public place, to the terror of others.
    The affray in the busy marketplace caused great terror and disorder.



affray ‎(third-person singular simple present affrays, present participle affraying, simple past and past participle affrayed)

  1. To startle from quiet; to alarm.
    • Chaucer
      Smale foules a great heap / That had afrayed [affrayed] me out of my sleep.
  2. To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.
    • Shakespeare
      That voice doth us affray.