\ 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 pluralintellectual 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 frilly (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,, "Rodarte’s Autumn 2020 Show Was So Pretty, It Hurt," 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, "An Exclusive First Look at the Met’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Catalog," 3 Apr. 2019 Town & Country reported the ivory taffeta dress was embroidered with sequins, frilled lace and 10,000 pearls. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Princess Diana's waist shrunk down to 23 inches for her wedding to Prince Charles," 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, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Cannes Vacation Photos Are Straight Out of a Dream," 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, "Historic California Ghost Town Is Up For Sale," 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, "10 Best Dressed: Week of June 11, 2018," 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,, "The fallout and response to Chris Mack's departure from Xavier basketball for Louisville," 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, "The Memory of Fashion," 29 Sep. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun School administrators often see gifted education as a frill. NBC News, "America's gifted education programs have a race problem. Can it be fixed?," 14 Oct. 2020 Behind these horns was a head frill made of bone and studded with small spikes called epoccipitals. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Why Triceratops, a prehistoric herbivore, looked so fierce," 14 Sep. 2020 Scientists continue to debate the primary purpose of this dinosaur’s frill. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Why Triceratops, a prehistoric herbivore, looked so fierce," 14 Sep. 2020 The result includes feminine, yet edgy dresses, tops, and skirts, each with a touch of frill and delicacy, in a natural color scheme of taupe, black, and white. Eliza Huber,, "H&M’s Collab With Sandra Mansour Will Benefit The Lebanese Red Cross," 27 Aug. 2020 Sevigny also wore one from 69, although hers had a dainty ruffle, which artfully complemented her also frill-centric dress by Simone Rocha. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Chloë Sevigny and Her Boyfriend Match Masks While Wearing Summer’s Down-to-Earth Sandal," 17 Aug. 2020 USA TODAY Travelers picked an airline once known for its no-frills service as their top choice for overall satisfaction in a new J.D. Power survey released Wednesday – but the results poured in largely before coronavirus fears imploded air travel. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "Before COVID-19 stopped the world, Southwest was voted best airline in this survey," 27 May 2020 Her crowd control and confidence have endeared her to audiophiles who live for hearing deep cuts in a live setting, while her no-frills attitude keeps those with fragile egos at bay. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, "Soul Controllers: 10 Women DJs You Should Know and Groove To," 25 May 2020 Buy now: The Mini Grid, $349, Create a no-frills album quickly and inexpensively From shooting and editing to organizing and printing, maintaining a photo collection is no small amount of work. Alex Erdekian, Condé Nast Traveler, "Everything You Need to Finally Organize All Your Old Trip Photos," 20 May 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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Time Traveler for frill

Time Traveler

The first known use of frill was in 1574

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Cite this Entry

“Frill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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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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