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

  • transitive v. To wear away along the edges; fray.
  • transitive v. To exhaust physically or emotionally.
  • intransitive v. To become worn away along the edges.
  • intransitive v. To become exhausted physically or emotionally.
  • n. A frayed or tattered condition.
  • n. A condition of exhaustion: worked themselves to a frazzle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fray or wear down, especially at the edges.
  • v. To drain emotionally or physically

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or result of frazzling; the condition or quality of being frazzled; the tag end; a frayed-out end.
  • n. a state of extreme exhaustion; -- often used in the phrase worn to a frazzle.
  • transitive v. To fray; to wear or pull into tatters or tag ends; to tatter; -- used literally and figuratively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ravel out, as the edge of a fabric; unravel; fray.
  • To wear, as by hard usage, into shreds, rags, or tatters; fray out; tear to pieces.
  • n. A shred; a tatter; a frayed rag; a frayed or worn-out condition: as, to be worn to a frazzle.

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

  • n. a state of extreme exhaustion
  • v. exhaust physically or emotionally
  • v. wear away by rubbing


Perhaps a blend of fray2 and dialectal fazzle, to unravel (from Middle English facelyn, to fray, from fasel, frayed edge, probably diminutive of fas, rootlets, from Old English fæs).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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