fray at/around the edges/seams

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

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

ˌfray at/around the ˈedges/ˈseams

start to come apart or to fail: Support for the leader was fraying at the edges.
If cloth frays, the threads in it start to come apart.
See also: around, edge, fray, seam