n. & v.
n. 1 a case or border enclosing a picture, window, door, etc. 2 the basic rigid supporting structure of anything, e.g. of a building, motor vehicle, or aircraft. 3 (in pl.) the structure of spectacles holding the lenses. 4 a human or animal body, esp. with reference to its size or structure (his frame shook with laughter). 5 a framed work or structure (the frame of heaven). 6 a an established order, plan, or system (the frame of society). b construction, constitution, build. 7 a temporary state (esp. in frame of mind). 8 a single complete image or picture on a cinema film or transmitted in a series of lines by television. 9 a a triangular structure for positioning the balls in snooker etc. b the balls positioned in this way. c a round of play in snooker etc. 10 Hort. a boxlike structure of glass etc. for protecting plants. 11 a removable box of slats for the building of a honeycomb in a beehive. 12 US sl. = frame-up.
v.tr. 1 a set in or provide with a frame. b serve as a frame for. 2 construct by a combination of parts or in accordance with a design or plan. 3 formulate or devise the essentials of (a complex thing, idea, theory, etc.). 4 (foll. by to, into) adapt or fit. 5 sl. concoct a false charge or evidence against; devise a plot with regard to. 6 articulate (words). frame-house a house constructed of a wooden skeleton covered with boards etc. frame of reference 1 a set of standards or principles governing behaviour, thought, etc. 2 Geom. a system of geometrical axes for defining position. frame-saw a saw stretched in a frame to make it rigid. frame-up colloq. a conspiracy, esp. to make an innocent person appear guilty. framable adj. frameless adj. framer n.
[ OE framian be of service f. fram forward: see FROM ]