fray at the edges
fray at the edgesor
fray around the edges
If something or someone frays at the edges or frays around the edges, they gradually become weaker or less successful. The government's army has begun to fray at the edges. By this time, their partnership had begun to fray around the edges. Note: You can also talk about something being frayed at the edges or frayed around the edges. At 72, his voice is sometimes a little frayed around the edges, but that just adds to its charm. Note: If a piece of cloth or rope frays, its threads or fibres start to come apart.
ˌfray at/around the ˈedges/ˈseamsstart to come apart or to fail: Support for the leader was fraying at the edges.
If cloth frays, the threads in it start to come apart.