Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A noisy quarrel or brawl.
  • transitive v. Archaic To frighten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of suddenly disturbing any one; an assault or attack.
  • n. A tumultuous assault or quarrel.
  • n. The fighting of two or more persons, in a public place, to the terror of others.
  • v. To startle from quiet; to alarm.
  • v. To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of suddenly disturbing any one; an assault or attack.
  • n. Alarm; terror; fright.
  • n. A tumultuous assault or quarrel; a brawl; a fray.
  • n. The fighting of two or more persons, in a public place, to the terror of others.
  • transitive v. To startle from quiet; to alarm.
  • transitive v. To frighten; to scare; to frighten away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To frighten; terrify; give a shock to; arouse; disturb.
  • n. Fear; terror.
  • n. Disturbance involving terror.
  • n. A public fight; a noisy quarrel; a brawl; a tumult; disturbance.
  • n. Synonyms Broil. Scuffle, etc. See quarrel, n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a noisy fight
  • n. noisy quarrel

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French effrei, esfrei, from esfraier, esfreer, to disturb; see prī- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English afraien ("to terrify, frighten"), from Anglo-Norman afrayer ("to terrify, disquiet, disturb"), from Old French effreer, esfreer ("to disturb, remove the peace from"), from es- ("ex-") + freer ("to secure, secure the peace"), from Frankish *friþu ("security, peace"), from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (“peace”), from Proto-Germanic *frijōnan (“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.

Examples

  • Comanchero leader Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi was charged Monday with fighting in public in a way that caused bystanders to fear for their safety - a crime called affray - at the airport.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • New Orleans Times-Picayune, the involuntary manslaughter charge was dropped after Grant pleaded no contests to misdemeanor "affray" - fighting two or more persons in a public place.

    chicagotribune.com - News

  • The charges against the Commanchero members are for "affray" - fighting in public and causing bystanders to fear for their safety.

    The Herald | HeraldOnline.com - Front

  • He expressed a strong objection to having manual labour imposed upon him as well as his other work: but they maintained that if only he had called the affray "a struggle for daily bread" or "a fight for a livelihood," he would quite have enjoyed it; and they further suggested that such diversion must be much more interesting than being a mere commonplace tutor who only taught lessons.

    The Heavenly Twins

  • A bloody affray, which is obscurely related, had occurred in St. Louis between the Secessionists and Federalists.

    The Civil War in America

  • Think you could end up in a world of hurt mate specially because you have already admitted and taken the fine for affray, which is a lot worse than just fighting.

    Army Rumour Service

  • It spoke of the assassination as an "affray"; held forth violently against the mob spirit of the evening before; and stated vehemently its opinion that, now that

    The Gray Dawn

  • The Herald, after rashly treating the "affray" as a street brawl, lost hundreds of subscribers and most of its advertising.

    The Gray Dawn

  • The charges against the Commanchero members are for "affray" _ fighting in public and causing bystanders to fear for their safety.

    Las Vegas Sun Stories: All Sun Headlines

  • Lowe was said to have 26 previous convictions for offences such as affray and threatening behaviour and had been cautioned twice for assaults on Ms Richardson.

    News round-up

Comments

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  • (noun) - A skirmish or fighting between two or more. It is oft-times confounded with assalt. But they differ in that an assalt is only a wrong to the party, but an affray may also be without word or blow given, as if a man shew himself furnished with armour or weapons not usually worn, it may strike fear into others unarmed. Of the French affres, a fright. --Thomas Blount's Law Dictionary and Glossary, 1717

    February 5, 2018