noun (1)
ar·​ri·​ère-ban | \ ˌa-rē-ər-ˈbän How to pronounce arrière-ban (audio) , -ˈban \

Definition of arrière-ban

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: a proclamation of a king (as of France) calling his vassals to arms also : the body of vassals summoned


noun (2)
ar·​ri·​ère-pen·​sée | \ ˌa-rē-ər-päⁿ-ˈsā How to pronounce arrière-pensée (audio) \

Definition of arrière-pensée (Entry 2 of 5)

: mental reservation

arriere fee

noun (3)
ar·​ri·​ere fee
variants: or arriere fief \ ˈarēˌer-​ \

Definition of arriere fee (Entry 3 of 5)

: a fee or fief dependent on a fee : a fee held of a feudatory : subfief


noun (4)
arrière-vous·​sure | \ -ˌvüˈsu̇(ə)r \
plural -s

Definition of arrière-voussure (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : an inner or rear arch in a thick wall that carries the inner part of that wall especially : such an arch over a door or window frame
2 : a relieving arch behind the face of a wall
en ar·​rière | \ äⁿnȧryeer \

Definition of en arrière (Entry 5 of 5)

1 heraldry : from the back an eagle proper en arrière
2 ballet : toward the back : backward used of a movement or of the execution of a stepa glissade en arrière

First Known Use of arrière-ban

Noun (1)

1523, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1617, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arrière-ban

Noun (1)


Noun (2)

French, from arrière in back + pensée thought

Noun (3)

Middle French arriere fie, arriere fief, from Old French arierefief, from ariere, arriere behind + fief fee

Noun (4)

French, literally, rear arching, from arrière rear, behind + voussure arching, bend of an arch, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin volsura, from volsus (past participle of Latin volvere to roll) + Latin -ura -ure

Adverb (or adjective)

French, behind, backward, in arrears

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The first known use of arrière-ban was in 1523

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Cite this Entry

“Arrière-ban.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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