Definition of frazzle in English:



[WITH OBJECT]usually as adjective frazzled
  • 1Cause to feel completely exhausted; wear out.

    ‘a frazzled parent’
    • ‘On the ground beneath, the frazzled reporters she left behind could only scratch their heads - in amazement and, of course, relief.’
    • ‘My frazzled brain keeps on trying to master the fundamentals and yesterday I proudly completed my first ‘tough’ puzzle (four hours, twelve minutes).’
    • ‘I'd just like to reassure the paper's staff that it's nothing personal - I've simply been too busy to do anything other than type out the frazzled contents of my mind.’
    • ‘This is hardly a calming thought for a frazzled office worker seeking a sandwich in their lunch break, never mind a working mother of four trying to buy 36 presents before the shops close.’
    • ‘In homes where these fragrant creatures appeared on the doorstep, Mary Poppins style, to drag a frazzled mother away from childcaring business, the Avon Lady was a mysterious and most welcome caller.’
    • ‘Some have argued that the upshot of this is the emasculated man, unable to assert himself in his relationship, and also of the frazzled, controlling matriarch, who feels under pressure and under-appreciated.’
    • ‘A clunking old metal elevator struggled to make its way to the ground floor, then grudgingly opened its doors to allow myself and a frazzled woman to embark.’
    • ‘The latter is definitely the kind of place you can imagine frazzled executives escaping to as they float on a spume of hot bubbles.’
    • ‘She's certainly dressed for the part, in a jumper and a tatty leather coat, sipping her studenty tea and smoking her studenty Marlboro Lights like any other slightly frazzled third year.’
    • ‘The contestants end up bustier, blonder, emotionally frazzled and, often, looking a little drag queenesque.’
    • ‘Covering a large area of the garden close to the glasshouses, this is a must-see exhibition that offers a new perspective on our world and provides a chill-out zone for frazzled festival-goers.’
    • ‘The damage is compounded by the loss of attention from frazzled parents trying to rebuild their lives.’
    • ‘I'm enjoying the couple of days of great sunshine, cycling around a bit, but I'm kind of frazzled and burnt-out too.’
    • ‘It is used to torment many a couple still, who usually are both feeling frazzled and self conscious, and who are NOT thinking about bussing big kisses at all!’
    • ‘For the frazzled chef, relocating to a suburban or rural setting can be a lifestyle choice as much as it is an economic one.’
    • ‘Sitting in the library in UCD one morning, she encountered a frazzled and frustrated fellow-student.’
    • ‘Bored kids and frazzled adults were clustered in every corner and a dangerous-looking scrum had formed by the main door.’
    • ‘Maybe it was my tired state and slightly frazzled mind, but I couldn't help wondering: Why?’
    • ‘Politely, he greets a room full of frazzled reporters, the pressure of deadlines denying any chance of conversation.’
    • ‘This is the same little demon who kept Red and her frazzled husband up for four hours the night before refusing to sleep.’
    tired out, worn out, weary, dog-tired, bone-tired, bone-weary, ready to drop, on one's last legs, asleep on one's feet, drained, fatigued, enervated, debilitated, spent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fray.
      ‘change the skirt if it gets frazzled’
      figurative ‘it's enough to frazzle the nerves’
      • ‘An afternoon stroll through this little hamlet provides the perfect medicine for frazzled nerves.’
      • ‘It's a chance to refuel, repair frazzled nerves, settle your frustrated children and consider whether or not your mother-in-law deserves better than a novelty egg-timer or a set of napkin rings.’
      • ‘Amy took a deep breath, trying to calm her frazzled emotions.’
      • ‘The food goes off and Italian temperaments get extremely frazzled turning hotel rooms into makeshift kitchens.’
      • ‘Judging by the frazzled expressions on the faces of the people I saw emerging from Hamleys, getting your hands on either of these must-haves is no easy task.’
      • ‘If you're feeling frenetic, fragmented and frazzled, that ultimately cannot be good for your students.’
      • ‘Her copy is long overdue, and mine is out from the university library, and I'm sure it will be recalled quickly with the surge of frazzled upper-years returning to the university.’
      • ‘The unsightly frazzled foliage soon falls away and new shoots eventually appear, as ready to flower as the early shoots.’


a frazzle
  • The state of being completely exhausted or worn out.

    ‘I'm tired, worn to a frazzle’
    • ‘Usually, when you're on the trail for a year or maybe even two years sometimes, you really get worn down to a frazzle.’
    • ‘They wore themselves to a frazzle chasing after the birds.’
    • ‘Weeks and weeks of frenzy and frazzle have come to an end.’
    • ‘To those who fell victim to my Friday night frazzle, as recipients of either the maudlin or irrationally ranting and offensive, please help yourself to the usual ameliorations and apologies from the box in the corner.’
    • ‘As he didn't want Tanj worn to a frazzle, he directed her to gather ‘reinforcements‘.’
    • ‘Worrying about the kid already had him worn to a frazzle.’
    • ‘She and her husband have an organization consisting mostly of young people who clean up the city's public spaces, and they used the snaggers we sold them, and wore them to a frazzle, and bought a lot more.’
    • ‘They figured that all men in the western hemisphere would be worn to a frazzle because they would try to watch all the matches (which all show in the wee hours of the morning) AND go to work too.’
    • ‘To find out what Dublin can offer as an antidote to 21st century frazzle, I popped into the National Gallery where I found the resident experts full of ideas on the subject.’
    • ‘One can worry oneself to a frazzle if one wants but it helps to be aware of what might take place.’
    • ‘When they finally reached the station Kit was worn to a frazzle.’
    • ‘If you're not careful, your high speed majors will work their people to a frazzle to get that last 5 percent of polish on the quarterly training brief or the command and staff slides.’
    • ‘She improvised, created and worked her vocal chords to a frazzle, dashed home and prepared dinner for the intellectuals who came repeatedly to Mrs Berio's table.’


Early 19th century: perhaps a blend of fray and obsolete fazle ‘ravel out’, of Germanic origin. The word was originally East Anglian dialect; it came into standard British English via the US.