From Middle English afraien(to terrify, frighten), a borrowing from Anglo-Norman afrayer(to terrify, disquiet, disturb), from 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.



affray ‎(plural affrays)

  1. The act of suddenly disturbing any one; an assault or attack.
    A 22-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the incident for affray towards attending paramedics.[1]
  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.