frip·​pery | \ ˈfri-p(ə-)rē How to pronounce frippery (audio) \
plural fripperies

Definition of frippery

1 obsolete
a : cast-off clothes
b archaic : a place where old clothes are sold
2a : finery also : an elegant or showy garment
b : something showy, frivolous, or nonessential
c : ostentation especially : something foolish or affectedly elegant

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Examples of frippery in a Sentence

The design is simple and devoid of needless frippery. dressed in their most elegant frippery for the big gala at the symphony
Recent Examples on the Web Its most lyrical effects are exquisitely simple: Somehow, the red of Undine’s tousled hair and the aquamarine of her window curtains convey more undercurrents of feeling than any elaborate CGI frippery would. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 As for pricing, the 2022 Santa Cruz should start short of $30,000 and range up toward $40,000 with a full load of frippery. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 15 Apr. 2021 Performers surreptitiously conveyed stereotypical gayness — through winks, camp, sass, frippery — that was evident to in-the-know audiences but sailed over others’ heads. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2020 If anything, by stripping away all of the frippery and bloat that makes Bing a slog, Ghostery offers a stirring defense of that engine's core capabilities. Brian Barrett, Wired, 18 Nov. 2020 This year has forced us all to reexamine our relationship to things, placing more importance on function over frippery. Jolie Kerr, CNN Underscored, 16 Nov. 2020 The interior is equally short on frippery, with the emphasis on showing material quality through unembellished metal, wood, and leather. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 1 Sep. 2020 Iannucci and his co-writer Simon Blackwell fast-forward through the book, tarting it up with cinematic frippery and enlisting their pals to play supporting roles with sitcom shtick. Kyle Smith, National Review, 27 Aug. 2020 The kind of modernism that Loos advocated was spare and austere, highlighting the function of each object or structure rather than concealing it behind layers of frippery. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 5 Aug. 2020

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

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for frippery

Middle French friperie, alteration of Old French freperie, from frepe old garment

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Learn More about frippery

Time Traveler for frippery

Time Traveler

The first known use of frippery was in 1568

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Statistics for frippery

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frippery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for frippery



English Language Learners Definition of frippery

somewhat formal + old-fashioned : something that is not necessary or not serious

More from Merriam-Webster on frippery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frippery

Britannica English: Translation of frippery for Arabic Speakers


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