Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English frien, from Old French frire, from Latin frīgere ‎(to roast, fry), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer-. Cognate with Ancient Greek φρύγω ‎(phrúgō, I roast, bake), Sanskrit भृज्ज् ‎(bhṛjjati, to roast, grill, fry), भृग् ‎(bhṛg, the crackling of fire)


Eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms being fried in a frying pan

fry ‎(third-person singular simple present fries, present participle frying, simple past and past participle fried)

  1. (transitive) To cook (something) in hot fat.
  2. (intransitive) To cook in hot fat.
  3. (intransitive, colloquial) To suffer because of too much heat.
    You'll fry if you go out in this sun with no sunblock on.
  4. (intransitive, informal) To be executed by the electric chair.
    He's guilty of murder — he's going to fry.
  5. (transitive, informal) To destroy (something, usually electronic) with excessive heat, voltage, or current.
    If you apply that much voltage, you'll fry the resistor.
Derived termsEdit


fry ‎(plural fries)

  1. (usually in plural fries) (mainly Canada and US) A fried potato.
  2. (Ireland, Britain) A meal of fried sausages, bacon, eggs, etc.
  3. (colloquial, archaic) A state of excitement.
    to be in a fry

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

  • (fried potato): chip (Australia, New Zealand, UK), fried potato
  • (meal of fried sausages, bacon, etc): fry-up

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English fry ‎(seed, offspring), from Old Norse frjó ‎(seed, semen), from Proto-Germanic *fraiwą ‎(seed, semen, offspring), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)per-, *(s)prei- ‎(to strew, sow). Cognate with Icelandic frjó ‎(pollen, seed), Icelandic fræ ‎(seed), Swedish frö ‎(seed, embryo, grain, germ), Danish frø ‎(seed), Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌹𐍅 ‎( fraiw , seed).


fry ‎(plural fries)

  1. (now chiefly Britain dialectal) Offspring; progeny; children; brood.
  2. Young fish; fishlings.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      it is not possible for man to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from the other frie; that must be the Angels Ministery at the end of mortall things.
  3. (archaic) A swarm, especially of something small (a fry of children).
  4. (Britain dialectal) The spawn of frogs.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

Dialectal, of obscure origin.


fry ‎(plural fries)

  1. A kind of sieve.
  2. A drain.
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