frit·​il·​lary ˈfri-tə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce fritillary (audio)
plural fritillaries
: any of numerous nymphalid butterflies (Argynnis, Speyeria, and related genera) that usually are orange with black spots on the upper side of both wings and silver spotted on the underside of the hind wing

Examples of fritillary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Nebraska, scientists working for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are increasingly relying on casual researchers and citizen scientists to better understand three creatures in particular: spotted skunks, salamanders, and regal fritillary and monarch butterflies. Guest, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2019 Sébastien Blomme won the highly competitive Plants category with his photograph of a delicate Snake’s-head fritillary framed by the distant shape of a tree. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 5 Feb. 2023 Regal fritillary butterflies, which subsist on violets and stick to prairie habitats, are disappearing. From Usa Today Network and Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2022 Gulf fritillary butterflies are orange like monarchs and queens. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 4 June 2021 The fritillary is similar and as striking as the monarch, which will arrive by the thousands to Crow-Hassan at the end of August to feed on the spiky blazing stars — also intentionally planted for them. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, 31 July 2020 Specifically, BBC News mentions that the openings created by bison could allow plants such as cow wheat to grow, adding that a rare butterfly called the heath fritillary depends on the plant. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 July 2020 Andrew Fusek Peters spent two hours in the Shropshire hills to capture the images, one of which shows the exact moment a fritillary leaves a thistle at the Brook Vessons nature reserve. Fox News, 30 June 2020 Gulf fritillaries do their breeding on passion vine. Calvin Finch,, 21 May 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fritillary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin fritillaria

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fritillary was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near fritillary

Cite this Entry

“Fritillary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


frit·​il·​lary ˈfrit-ᵊl-ˌer-ē How to pronounce fritillary (audio)
plural fritillaries
: any of numerous butterflies that are usually orange with black spots on the upper side of both wings and silver spotted on the underside of the hind wings

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