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A situation manipulated so that an innocent person appears to have committed a crime (so that the actual criminal can avoid blame or detection). A: "It's a frame-up, officer, I swear! I would never go to a seedy place like that!" B: "Oh yeah? Then why did we find your fingerprints there?"
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.