fri·​ar | \ ˈfrī(-ə)r How to pronounce friar (audio) \

Definition of friar

: a member of a mendicant order

Examples of friar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On a rainy Monday morning in March, a friar, a minister, and a chaplain meet at Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street. Jonathan D. Fitzgerald,, "Chaplains and the rise of on-demand spiritual support," 9 Mar. 2021 Like many of Foster's students, Ada Palmer, a European history professor at the University of Chicago, says the friar opened up a whole world of post-Classical Latin literature for his charges. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, "Father Reginald Foster Used Latin to Bring History Into the Present," 30 Dec. 2020 A decade after Columbus arrived, a Spanish friar estimated that there were as many as 3.5 million people on Hispaniola, today’s Haiti and Dominican Republic. Andrew Lawler, History & Culture, "Invaders nearly wiped out Caribbean’s first people long before Spanish came, DNA reveals," 23 Dec. 2020 Van Alstyne, an Anglican Dominican friar, dresses up as St. Nick during the holidays, more-or-less the way others costume as Santa Claus. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer,, "Stoop caroling, interstate ham, masked St. Nick? New Orleans holiday ideas that are pandemic-proof.," 17 Dec. 2020 No author did this more comprehensively than 13th-century Dominican friar Jacobus de Cessolis. Jenny Adams, The Conversation, "In ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and beyond, chess holds up a mirror to life," 8 Dec. 2020 The actor is a Franciscan friar — and Christian Slater his young helper — in this engrossing whodunnit, adapted from Umberto Eco's novel. Clark Collis,, "Sean Connery's 10 greatest movies," 31 Oct. 2020 Machiavelli was 24 at the fall of the Medici in 1494 and lived through the subsequent de facto rule of Florence by the ascetic Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola. National Geographic, "Machiavelli exposed the brutal truth about politics in a 'tell-all' treatise," 22 Oct. 2020 Serra was a Franciscan friar who was one of the founders of the Catholic mission system in California. Michael Willliams,, "S.F. archbishop to hold exorcism at site of toppled Junípero Serra statue in San Rafael," 16 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'friar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of friar

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for friar

Middle English frere, fryer, from Anglo-French frere, friere, fraire literally, brother, from Latin fratr-, frater — more at brother

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Time Traveler for friar

Time Traveler

The first known use of friar was in the 13th century

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Statistics for friar

Last Updated

17 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Friar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for friar



English Language Learners Definition of friar

: a member of a men's Roman Catholic group who is poor and studies or teaches about Christianity


fri·​ar | \ ˈfrī-ər How to pronounce friar (audio) \

Kids Definition of friar

: a member of a Roman Catholic religious order for men

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