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frieze

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noun \ˈfrēz or frē-ˈzā\

Definition of frieze

  1. 1 :  a heavy durable coarse wool and shoddy fabric with a rough surface

  2. 2 :  a pile surface of uncut loops or of patterned cut and uncut loops

frieze was our Word of the Day on 10/22/2016. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Today's word is not the only frieze in English. The other frieze refers to a kind of heavy wool fabric. Both of the frieze homographs derive from French, but each entered that language through a different channel. The woolen homograph is from the Middle Dutch word vriese, which also refers to coarse wool. The frieze that we are featuring as our word today is from the Latin word frisium, meaning "embroidered cloth." That word evolved from phrygium and Phrygia, the name of an ancient country of Asia Minor whose people excelled in metalwork, wood carving, and (unsurprisingly) embroidery. That embroidery lineage influenced the use of frieze for the middle division of an entablature, which commonly has a decorated surface resembling embroidered cloth.

Origin and Etymology of frieze

Middle English frise, from Anglo-French, from Middle Dutch vriese


First Known Use: 15th century


2

frieze

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noun \ˈfrēz\

Definition of frieze

  1. 1 :  the part of an entablature between the architrave (see architrave 1) and the cornice (see 1cornice 1)

  2. 2 :  a sculptured or richly ornamented band (as on a building or piece of furniture)

  3. 3 :  a band, line, or series suggesting a frieze a constant frieze of visitors wound its way around the … ruins — Mollie Panter-Downes

friezelike

adjective

Origin and Etymology of frieze

Medieval French frise, perhaps from Medieval Latin phrygium, frisium embroidered cloth, from Latin phrygium, from neuter of Phrygius Phrygian, from Phrygia


First Known Use: 1563

Other Fine Arts Terms


FRIEZE Defined for Kids

frieze

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noun \ˈfrēz\

Definition of frieze for Students

  1. :  a band or stripe (as around a building) used as a decoration



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