fray(redirected from fraying)
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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.
join the frayand 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.
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.
enter the frayalso 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.
enter/join the fray
to become involved in an argument or a fight Members of the royal family rarely enter the political 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.
tempers frayalso 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.
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.