From Latin fricāre, present active infinitive of fricō.


  • IPA(key): /fʁɛje/, /fʁeje/



  1. (transitive) to open up, clear (a path etc.)
  2. (zoology, intransitive) to spawn, to fertilize an egg
  3. (reflexive, se frayer, literally figuratively) to find (one's way through something); to clear (oneself) a path
    • 2000, Jean-François Parot, L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux, JC Lattès 2012, p. 32:
      Nicolas, accoutumé à l'ordre bonhomme des marchés provinciaux, dut se frayer un chemin au milieu d'un véritable chaos.
      Nicolas, used to the good-natured order of provincial markets, had to find his way through a veritable chaos.
  4. (obsolete) to rub


  • This is a regular -er verb as far as pronunciation is concerned, but as with other verbs in -ayer (such as payer and essayer), the <y> of its stem may optionally be written as <i> when it precedes a silent <e>. (Contrast verbs in -eyer, which never have this spelling change, and verbs in -oyer and -uyer, which always have it. Verbs in -ayer belong to both groups, according to the writer's preference.)

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