fret·​work ˈfret-ˌwərk How to pronounce fretwork (audio)
: decoration consisting of work adorned with frets
: ornamental openwork or work in relief

Examples of fretwork in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The walnut fretwork screens in the entry are fitted with glass panels treated with gold and copper leaf. Carlos Mota, ELLE Decor, 7 July 2023 The duo brought diverging sensibilities to their collaborations: Growing up, Thorn collected punk, pop, and soul singles; Watt worshiped the fretwork of John Martyn and Neil Young. Vulture, 24 Apr. 2023 Its fretwork of thin glass tubes was bent and shaped to resemble an old-fashioned bellows camera. John Kelly, Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2023 Armed with frenetic fretwork and screeching riffs, the man impressed with every improvisational note, and the crowd loved it. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 23 Feb. 2023 The artist’s fancy fretwork can also be heard on Ozzy Osbourne’s upcoming album, Patient Number 9, which will be released Sept. 9 by Epic. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 1 Sep. 2022 Jones’ fretwork is crucial to Tool’s sound, brilliantly connecting the sonic threads between prog, psychedelia, heavy metal, and post-grunge. Spin Staff, SPIN, 6 Sep. 2022 The design for Audley Square Redevelopment will bring porticos and balconies to the façade of the building, plus sculptural balustrades and ornate fretwork. Amy Dobson, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Client’s own, modified with finials and fretwork from O’verlays. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 25 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fretwork.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fretwork was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near fretwork

Cite this Entry

“Fretwork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


fret·​work ˈfret-ˌwərk How to pronounce fretwork (audio)
: decoration consisting of frets
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