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

And some of the scarce remaining time will be filled with the centuries-old rituals that attend the reopening of Parliament—waste camouflaged by ceremonial frippery. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Boris Johnson’s Parliamentary Runaround," 30 Aug. 2019 Blue Heaven’ transforms from a steely blue to a brilliant burgundy in the fall, perfect for front-of-the-border frippery. Amy Merrick, WSJ, "Fall’s Best Blade Plans," 5 Oct. 2018 There's no melodrama or frippery in this case-by-case analysis of crime. Rebecca Farley,, "These Podcasts Will Satisfy Your Craving For Making A Murderer," 15 June 2019 Two years later, amid disappointing ticket sales, Norwegian spent $50m ripping out all the Chinese fripperies and moved the ship to Alaskan fjords. The Economist, "What slumping demand for cruises says about Chinese tourists," 8 June 2019 Tracee Ellis Ross wore her second feathered Marc Jacobs look of the week, single-handedly making the case for ’60s-style frippery in the process. Vogue, "This Week, Stars Went for Modern Elegance and Runway Standouts," 1 Apr. 2019 In the late '80s, one group of owners went on a little tear to soften The Reef’s brutalist edges with bits of frippery more in keeping with the moment’s love affair with both English country and Mediterranean revival style. Steven Stolman, House Beautiful, "This Delightfully Retro Apartment Complex Has Been Home to Design Royalty," 6 Mar. 2019 First was Cousy, a master dribbler and passer from Holy Cross who was known as the Houdini of the Hardwood in an era when everyone (though not Russell, who was too dignified for such frippery) had a nickname. David M. Shribman, WSJ, "‘The Last Pass’ Book Review: Passing Acquaintances," 16 Nov. 2018 Zig-zagging between the United States, France, Italy, and Germany, Schneider was quick to eclipse the froth and frippery of Sissi with far bolder, more sophisticated projects—and a wardrobe to match. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, Romy Schneider! Revisiting the Star’s Enduring Style," 23 Sep. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near frippery


Frio, Cape




Frisbee golf


Statistics for frippery

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frippery

The first known use of frippery was in 1568

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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

Comments on frippery

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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