• IPA: /əˈfɹeɪ/

affray (affrays, present participle affraying; past and past participle affrayed)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To startle from quiet; to alarm.
    • 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules:
      Smale foules a great heap / That had afrayed me out of my sleep.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. (archaic, transitive) To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene v]:
      That voice doth us affray.
Related terms Noun


  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
      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.
Synonyms Related terms
  • fray#Etymology_2

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