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 The islanders were assigned a parish priest by the Diocese of Guadalajara, but without a parish church, Father Jose de la Garza had to grant permission to a mission friar to perform the community’s first baptism Aug. 31, 1731. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Mar. 2022 Semnani, a Muslim, insisted on showcasing leaders of other faiths, too, such as Silvestre de Escalante, a Franciscan friar-explorer, and Father Lawrence Scanlan, Utah’s first Catholic bishop. The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Feb. 2022 The 14th-century Franciscan friar William of Occam saw the importance of finding the simplest explanation for any phenomenon—the principle known as Occam’s Razor. Taylor Cromwell, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Another friar showed signs of defensive wounds on one arm and blunt force trauma to the skull, which sounds like perfect fodder for a medieval murder mystery. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 5 Jan. 2022 The chief censor, a Dominican friar friendly to Galileo, was aware that Copernican ideas weren’t supposed to be taught publicly. Nuno Castel-branco, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2021 Encyclopedic, with some 1,200 pages and nearly 2,500 illustrations, it was compiled by a sizable team of Indigenous artists and authors working with a Franciscan friar at the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, Mexico’s first college. Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2021 The Argentine Jesuit is the first-ever pope to have named himself after the 13th century friar, who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to embrace a life of poverty and simplicity. Fox News, 12 Nov. 2021 Not everything in biology abides by Ockham’s razor, a principle attributed to the Franciscan friar and philosopher William of Ockham, which argues that, when given several possible solutions, the one with the least complexity is the most likely. Roxanne Khamsi, The Atlantic, 17 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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friar's chicken

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Cite this Entry

“Friar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for friar


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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