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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English affraien (to terrify, frighten), borrowed from Anglo-Norman afrayer (to terrify, disquiet, disturb) and Old French effreer, esfreer (to disturb, remove the peace from) (compare modern French effrayer), from Vulgar Latin *exfridāre or from es- (ex-) + freer (to secure, secure the peace), from Frankish *friþu (security, peace), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (peace), from *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.


  • IPA(key): /əˈfɹeɪ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


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

  1. (archaic, transitive) To startle from quiet; to alarm.
  2. (archaic, transitive) To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.

Related terms[edit]


affray (countable and uncountable, plural affrays)

  1. The act of suddenly disturbing anyone; an assault or attack.
    • 2015, 8 November, "Rugby league journalist Gary Carter critically ill after Bethnal Green attack", BBC News [1]
      A 22-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the incident for affray towards attending paramedics.
  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.
  4. (obsolete) Terror.


Related terms[edit]