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 fray

1. To join a competition. Now that you've entered the fray and decided to run for mayor, I hope you've prepared for the personal attacks unfortunately are likely to follow.
2. To join in on an argument. Once my relatives start arguing, I usually leave the room rather than enter the fray.
See also: enter, fray

enter the lists

To join an argument or competition. Now that you've entered the lists and decided to run for mayor, I hope you've prepared for the personal attacks unfortunately are likely to follow. Once my relatives start arguing, I usually leave the room rather than enter the lists.
See also: enter, list

fray around the edges

1. Literally, to become worn along the edges, as of fabric. I think it's time for us to get a new blanket—this one is all frayed around the edges.
2. To become less successful or harmonious. Our roommate relationship is starting to fray around the edges now that Pat has begun leaving his stuff, including dirty dishes, all over the apartment.
See also: around, edge, fray

tempers frayed

Things became tense among people; people lost their tempers. Tempers frayed at Thanksgiving when Uncle Stu and Aunt Marsha started arguing about politics.
See also: fray, temper

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

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

fray at the edges

or

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.
See also: edge, fray
References in periodicals archive ?
Delaminated areas must still be connected to the material and must not be defined as fraying.
Fraying and delamination can be the cause of each other and therefore can often be observed together in a single area although the two also can appear independently.
To measure the fraying of drilled or milled geometries, an optical microscope is required.
In Table 1 the assessment pattern is shown for the fraying of FRP.
Thin layers cause inadequate bonding and can result in curling or fraying of the TPE layer at the tapered edges (see Fig.
Both approaches reduce feathering, neutralize curling, and eliminate tear points that might initiate fraying.
Galliano even pieced together sashes of fraying chiffon with zippers to be attached to other items in his collection ``so you can create your own look.