fray

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above the fray

Uninvolved in an argument or debate. Kristen always tried to stay above the fray whenever there was a disagreement at work. It's difficult to stay above the fray when dealing with hostile family members.
See also: above, fray

enter the lists

Fig. to begin to take part in a contest or argument. He had decided not to stand for Parliament, but entered the lists at the last minute. The family disagreement had almost been resolved when the grandfather entered the lists.
See also: enter, list

join the fray

 and jump into the fray; enter the fray
Fig. to join the fight or argument. After listening to the argument, Mary decided to jump into the fray. Tom joined the fray and immediately got knocked down.
See also: fray, join

above the fray

not involved in a particular argument The president will try to stay above the political fray.
Usage notes: often used with stay, keep, or remain: He's remarkably good at remaining above the fray at the office.
See also: above, fray

enter the fray

also join the fray
to become involved in a very competitive situation Cable TV companies have entered the fray, using their high-speed lines to provide Internet access.
See also: enter, fray

enter/join the fray

to become involved in an argument or a fight Members of the royal family rarely enter the political fray.
See also: enter, fray

fray around/at the edges

to start to become less effective or successful This songwriting partnership began to fray at the edges after both partners got married.
See also: around, edge, fray

tempers fray

  also tempers become frayed
if tempers fray among a group of people, they all become angry Tempers frayed when, after waiting for hours, we were told there were no tickets left.
See also: fray, temper

enter the lists

Also, enter the fray. Engage in a fight or competition, as in He said he'd be willing to enter the lists well before the primaries, or Whenever people disagreed, she was eager to enter the fray. The first term uses the noun lists in the sense of "a barrier around the arena enclosing medieval jousting tournaments" and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s. The variant uses fray in the sense of "a noisy skirmish or battle," a usage from the late 1300s.
See also: enter, list
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Minister Wael Abu Faour said that Lebanon was in need of relaunching dialogue and of wisdom, saying it was "illogical" that ties remain frayed between Lebanese groups.
Dad's an obese, frayed and unshaven factory storeman by day, but by night he transforms into an obese, frayed and unshaven masked wrestler with the nom de plume 'The Percolator'.
I thought the floss was a little overwaxed, making it feel thicker and, although it claims to have an anti-shred texture, I did find that it frayed a little.
Transect B was highest in frayed and truncated foliage stem counts (A: 11, 5; B: 18, 3; C: 5, 1; D: 1, 4; E: 1, 3).
Tevaga had arthroscopic surgery to trim a frayed labrum in his left shoulder.
She said: "People saw me in an extreme situation and tempers did get frayed, but I don't use that type of language in an everyday situation.
These features are critical in food and pharmaceutical applications as they prevent the growth of mold on the belt and edges from becoming frayed and mixing into passing product.
The team paints the protein fragment, or peptide, onto a silicon chip frayed at one end into rectangles 500 micrometers ([micro]m) long, 100 [micro]m wide, and 1 [micro]m thick.
Passengers on a train from Huddersfield to Manchester were ordered off after tempers frayed because of overcrowding.
But this speculate-to- accumulate approach means frayed nerves among fans.
A frayed cable can short circuit and also damage the card and the ICE box itself.
Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
These belts are said to eliminate flat belt problems, including mistracking, frayed edges (and resulting contamination), belt slippage and frequent maintenance and belt replacement.
The outcome will inevitably be reduced human service and public infrastructure investment--and more pressure on charity and philanthropy to fill the holes in our nation's already frayed social safety net.
The edges of the insect's large, leathery wings have a vein pattern and frayed edges similar to a real leaf that's been nibbled by hungry caterpillars.