fron·​tis·​piece ˈfrən-tə-ˌspēs How to pronounce frontispiece (audio)
: the principal front of a building
: a decorated pediment over a portico or window
: an illustration preceding and usually facing the title page of a book or magazine

Examples of frontispiece in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gustave Doré's depiction of Don Quixote amid his fantasies of chivalric romance, the frontispiece to the 1863 Paris Hachette edition. Ilan Stavans,, 23 Aug. 2023 After all, even Martin Droeshout’s frontispiece portrait for the First Folio shows a face that looks, to some eyes, like a mask. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2023 Its 745 glossy pages of text are adorned with scores of images—portraits, photographs, maps and frontispieces, each illustrating the myriad books, authors, artists, architects and historical events discussed in its 32 chapters. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2023 The gold sequin A-line coat, or a white lean sequin tank dress with a glitzy tweed frontispiece that puffs at the hip into a cackle of tulle, would look incredible on Margot Robbie, say, who starred in multiple nominee Babylon. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Jan. 2023 Thror’s Map, which Tolkien himself drew and which his characters use as a guide to get into the Mountain, may look like the map of Treasure Island that Robert Louis Stevenson included as a frontispiece in his 1883 novel. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 29 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


Middle French frontispice, from Late Latin frontispicium facade, from Latin front-, frons + -i- + specere to look at — more at spy

First Known Use

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of frontispiece was circa 1598

Dictionary Entries Near frontispiece

Cite this Entry

“Frontispiece.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


fron·​tis·​piece ˈfrənt-ə-ˌspēs How to pronounce frontispiece (audio)
: an illustration facing the title page of a book

More from Merriam-Webster on frontispiece

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