To manipulate a situation so that an innocent person appears to have committed a crime (so that the actual criminal can avoid blame or detection). A: "They're framing me, officer, I swear! I would never go to a seedy place like that!" B: "Oh yeah? Then why did we find your fingerprints there?"
See also: frame
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. tv. to cause an innocent person to be blamed for a crime; to contrive evidence so that someone appears to be guilty. (Originally underworld.) Jimmy tried to frame his sister for painting the cat yellow.
2. and frame-up and frameup n. a scheme where an innocent person is made to take the blame for something; incrimination caused by contrived evidence. (Underworld.) The frame-up would have worked if it weren’t for one little thing.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.