fri·​ar ˈfrī(-ə)r How to pronounce friar (audio)
: a member of a mendicant order

Examples of friar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Serra Mesa is named for Spanish friar Junipero Serra. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2023 Others showed the distinct hairstyles described in the writings of Bernardino de Sahagún, a 16th-century Franciscan friar who spent 50 years studying the Aztec culture, language and history. Merilee Grindle, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 The Náhuatl account is documented in the Florentine Codex, a 16th century study by a Franciscan friar, Bernardino de Sahagún. Sarah Quiñones Wolfson, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2023 Among the party of 34 men were voyageur Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle and Roman Catholic friar Father Louis Hennepin. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 29 July 2023 Mission holds remembrance service for friar from 1800s Mission San Luis Rey will hold a special community service 3 p.m. July 14 to re-inter the remains of Father Jeremiah O’Keefe, near the altar in the Historic Mission Church. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 July 2023 When the Italian poet passed away, rather than send his remains back to Florence, the Franciscan friars entombed him in a small mausoleum next to the Basilica of San Francesco. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 9 Aug. 2023 Visitors can dig into the history of Pico’s wine industry on a tour of its ancient vineyards or a stop at the Wine Museum, housed inside a 16th-century convent where Carmelite friars were once in the business of growing and crushing grapes and bottling wine. Shoshi Parks, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2023 Educated by Christian friars as a boy, Juan the Indian, as he is known, has since renounced those teachings, has traveled north, and is stirring up trouble among the native people. David Conrads, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near friar

Cite this Entry

“Friar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


fri·​ar ˈfrī(-ə)r How to pronounce friar (audio)
: a member of a Roman Catholic religious order for men
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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