frieze

noun (1)
\ ˈfrēz or frē-ˈzā \

Definition of frieze 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

frieze

noun (2)
\ ˈfrēz \

Definition of frieze (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from frieze

Noun (2)

friezelike adjective

frieze and Clothing

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.

First Known Use of frieze

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frieze

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frieze

Listen to Our Podcast about frieze

Statistics for frieze

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frieze

The first known use of frieze was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for frieze

frieze

noun
\ ˈfrēz \

Kids Definition of frieze

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frieze

What made you want to look up frieze? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!