noun, often attributive
\ ˈfrinj How to pronounce fringe (audio) \

Essential Meaning of fringe

1 : a border made of hanging threads used to decorate the edge of something (such as clothing, rugs, and curtains) a lampshade with a fringe
2 : a narrow area along the edge of something a fringe of moss around the tree
3 : an area of activity that is related to but not part of whatever is central or most widely accepted a party on the political fringe : a group of people with extreme views or unpopular opinions the conservative/liberal fringe

Full Definition of fringe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an ornamental border consisting of short straight or twisted threads or strips hanging from cut or raveled edges or from a separate band a lampshade with a fringe
2a : something resembling a fringe : edge, periphery often used in plural operated on the fringes of the lawworking for years on the fringes of the entertainment industry
b chiefly British : bang entry 4 wears her hair in a fringe
c : one of various light or dark bands produced by the interference or diffraction of light
d : an area bordering a putting green on a golf course with grass trimmed longer than on the green itself
3a : something that is marginal, additional, or secondary to some activity, process, or subject a fringe sport
b : a group with marginal or extremist views the politically conservative fringe


fringed; fringing\ ˈfrin-​jiŋ How to pronounce fringe (audio) \

Definition of fringe (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish or adorn with a fringe
2 : to serve as a fringe for : border

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fringe


fringy \ ˈfrin-​jē How to pronounce fringe (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fringe in a Sentence

Noun a lampshade with a fringe a fringe of moss around the tree a party on the political fringe Verb A jungle fringed the shore. the orchestral pit fringed the edge of the stage
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Set in a shallow depression on the north side of the road, the glassy livestock water hole is besieged with a fringe of wildflowers, water plants, hip-high grasses and an arc of junipers. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 8 Oct. 2021 That sensationalized portrait of a small criminal fringe was a disservice to our readers, discredited our paper, and made our job, as Black reporters, much harder to do. Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2021 Think wispy fringe, choppy bobs, and shaggy layers. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 24 Sep. 2021 The mainstreaming of once-fringe views, analysts say, is driving pop-up activists throughout the country to target schools, hospitals and local government offices with protests and, increasingly, violence. Hannah Allam, Spencer S. Hsu, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2021 From classic camel coats to floor-grazing dusters trimmed with fringe, Fendi’s fall collection more than delivers on this sartorial signature. Zoe Ruffner, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Sep. 2021 Instead of committing to the retro look, hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons clipped on a faux hairpiece for the special occasion to achieve the short, blunt fringe. Devon Abelman, Allure, 13 Sep. 2021 They were dismissed as a fringe at the time, but Jones and his ilk burrowed into the system. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 The case has spilled over into the country’s elections and raised new alarms about fringe groups fighting vaccinations and other health measures. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Stunning hand embroidery, fringe details and weaves lend a distinct Latin vibe to contemporary garments that were made to stand out. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 In 2018, Parsons grads Dylan Cao, Jin Kay and Huy Luong founded Commission, a women’s wear label specializing in business-casual staples with contemporary flourishes like graphic prints and lace and fringe trim. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Other players further on the NHL fringe all but sabotaged their chances of working at the highest level., 25 Sep. 2021 Keep scrolling for the best wafty fringe inspiration to take your curtain bangs to the next level... Lottie Winter, Glamour, 10 Sep. 2021 Viral posts promoting the plan racked up millions of views on pro-Trump websites, talk radio, fringe social networks and message boards, and programs aligned with the QAnon conspiracy theory. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, 2 Sep. 2021 Unlike many of President Donald Trump's supporters who continue to cling to fringe theories about the pandemic, many of President Jair Bolsonaro's staunchest supporters have broken with him over his handling of Covid-19. Arick Wierson, CNN, 31 Aug. 2021 Palm trees fringe the shores of this white-sand and aqua-colored beach. Rondel Holder, Travel + Leisure, 2 Aug. 2021 Lunatic conspiracy theories and fringe ideologies foster very real violence on the reactionary right, while marketers practice the art of convincing people to buy things at scales too vast to visualize. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 17 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fringe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fringe


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fringe


Middle English frenge, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *frimbia, from Latin fimbriae (plural)


verbal derivative of fringe entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best upholstery cleaner of 2021.

Learn More About fringe

Time Traveler for fringe

Time Traveler

The first known use of fringe was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near fringe



fringe area

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fringe

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fringe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fringe


\ ˈfrinj How to pronounce fringe (audio) \

Kids Definition of fringe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a border or trimming made by or made to look like the loose ends of the cloth
2 : a narrow area along the edge I ran till I got to the fringe of the forest.


fringed; fringing

Kids Definition of fringe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to decorate with a fringe
2 : to go along or around A hedge fringed the yard.


noun, often attributive
\ ˈfrinj How to pronounce fringe (audio) \

Medical Definition of fringe

: one of various light or dark bands produced by the interference or diffraction of light

More from Merriam-Webster on fringe

Nglish: Translation of fringe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fringe for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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