\ ˈfril How to pronounce frill (audio) \
frilled; frilling; frills

Definition of frill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to provide or decorate with a frill



Definition of frill (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a gathered, pleated, or bias-cut fabric edging used on clothing
b : a strip of paper curled at one end and rolled to be slipped over the bone end (as of a chop) in serving
2 : a ruff of hair or feathers or a bony or cartilaginous projection about the neck of an animal
3a : affectation, air usually used in plural intellectual frills and fustian— Joseph Epstein
b : something decorative or useful and desirable but not essential : luxury

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Other Words from frill


frilly \ ˈfri-​lē How to pronounce frill (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for frill

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of frill in a Sentence

Noun The dress had frills around the hem and sleeves. He likes plain food without any frills.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The collection, which will surely be talked about as the best of the entire week, was an unflinching reminder that a serious depth of femininity — the frilled, bedazzled, artistic kind — should never be mistaken for weakness. Gabrielle Korn,, 13 Feb. 2020 Bound in a pale pink casing, the catalog comprises two mint green volumes that walk the reader through the history and modern applications of camp in all its feathered and frilled glory. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 3 Apr. 2019 Town & Country reported the ivory taffeta dress was embroidered with sequins, frilled lace and 10,000 pearls. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 30 July 2018 Summer has officially arrived in that terracotta Temperley London dress, with plunging neckline, ruffled skirt and frilled short sleeves. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, 3 July 2018 At separate ends of town, two buxom madams and their bevies of painted, frilled and scandalously clad ladies welcomed miners and threw lavish parties. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 16 June 2018 For the women of Ocean’s 8, the objective was to steal the world’s attention: Rihanna thrilling and frilling in Givenchy, Sarah Paulson bold in acidic chartreuse from Prada, Awkwafina a caped goddess in Reem Acra. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, 11 June 2018 Xavier's head coaching job has never been more attractive and brings with it frills like updates facilities, a great on-campus gym, one of college basketball's power conferences and an enviable TV deal. Patrick Brennan,, 27 Mar. 2018 There’s a masculinity that’s barely detectable but nonetheless present — in the stiff leather of a miniskirt, say, or the strictness of a black pantsuit worn with a pale pink camisole that frilled in the front. Cathy Horyn, The Cut, 29 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tiered dress features a frill neckline and combines pale pink with mellow yellow and olive green in a shimmering material that’ll capture the summer sun. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 The lizard has a structure made of bone and cartilage originating from the throat that supports the frill. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2021 Inspiration for the frill, meanwhile, came from the modern-day frilled agamid lizard that lives in Australia and New Guinea. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2021 These models are zero-frill commuters that typically have cloth interior, smaller infotainment screens, and, in some cases, steel wheels. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 23 Dec. 2020 Her entire life, she’s been raised and trained for exactly this moment, a prize calf in a pie-frill collar and pearls. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 20 Nov. 2020 So far, an analysis of the Triceratops fossil has revealed actual skin impressions on its signature frill and hips. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 17 Nov. 2020 School administrators often see gifted education as a frill. NBC News, 14 Oct. 2020 Behind these horns was a head frill made of bone and studded with small spikes called epoccipitals. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, 14 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frill.' 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 frill


1574, in the meaning defined above


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for frill


perhaps from Dutch dialect (Brabant) frul ribbon bow, trifle

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Statistics for frill

Cite this Entry

“Frill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for frill



English Language Learners Definition of frill

: a strip of cloth that is gathered into folds on one edge and attached to something (such as clothing or curtains) as a decoration
: something that is added but is not necessary


\ ˈfril How to pronounce frill (audio) \

Kids Definition of frill

2 : something added mostly for show The food was plain without any frills.


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