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 that 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 that 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

fray at 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 has frayed at the edges.
2. To become less successful or harmonious. Our roommate relationship is starting to fray at the edges now that Pat has begun leaving his stuff, including dirty dishes, all over the apartment.
See also: edge, fray

join the fray

1. To enter into some competitive endeavor. Now that you've joined the fray and decided to run for mayor, I hope you're prepared for the personal attacks that are likely to follow. The company is preparing to join the fray with a new operating system for smartphones and tablets.
2. To become a part of an ongoing fight or argument. Once my relatives start arguing, I usually leave the room rather than join the fray. Look, we can't resolve this issue ourselves. We don't need the boss joining the fray.
See also: fray, join

jump into the fray

1. To enter into some competitive endeavor. Now that you've jumped into the fray and decided to run for mayor, I hope you're prepared for the personal attacks that are likely to follow. The company is preparing to jump into the fray with a new operating system for smartphones and tablets.
2. To become a part of an ongoing fight or argument. Once my relatives start arguing, I usually leave the room rather than jump into the fray. Look, we can resolve this issue ourselves. We don't need the boss jumping into the fray.
See also: fray, jump

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

enter the lists

issue or accept a challenge.
In medieval times, the lists were the enclosed area in which knights fought each other in tournaments.
See also: enter, list

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The most parsimonious interpretation of the October observations at transect B (frayed stems, fecal pellets, tracks, and bedding impressions) suggest deer browsed the upper foliage, and reduced the berry/flower count by mid-fall (although other factors may contribute--growing conditions, bird foraging).
How else can one describe Clinton's financial misconduct with China, his bombing of a medicine factory in Sudan, and his disastrous push for a premature Palestinian-Israeli settlement in order to pad his frayed legacy?
There are also pleny of frayed hems and waistbands and styles ranging from A-line to straight.
Noisy nylon, frayed fabrics, and nubby knits are just some of the 10,000 textures you'll find lurking in your favorite stores this season.
Here is the reason why the gouaches, etchings, and oils of "speculative fiction" are so consistently evocative: they tap into a childhood font that used to be called wonder - now, of course, a frayed, heinous cliche, an Encyclopaedia Brittanica relic.
But by then the civil-disobedience movement was profoundly frayed.
I thought the floss was a little overwaxed, making it feel thicker and, although it claims to have an anti-shred texture, I did find that it frayed a little.
The company's belts are said to eliminate flat belt problems, including mistracking, frayed edges (land resulting contamination), belt slippage and frequent maintenance and belt replacement.