A noisy quarrel or brawl.
tr.v. af·frayed, af·fray·ing, af·frays
[Middle English, from Old French effrei, esfrei, from esfraier, esfreer, to disturb; see prī- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.