Word of the Day : December 18, 2018

millefleur

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adjective meel-FLER

Definition

: having an allover pattern of small flowers and plants

Did You Know?

Millefleur (which can also be spelled millefleurs) came directly from French into English in the 17th century as a word for a perfume distilled from several different kinds of flowers. The literal meaning of mille fleurs in French is "a thousand flowers," so it is easy to see how millefleur came to be applied to patterns or backgrounds of many tiny flowers or plants. A similarly colorful extension of "a thousand flowers" can be seen in the word millefiori. That term, which refers to ornamental glass characterized by multicolored flower-like designs, comes from mille fiori, the Italian phrase meaning "a thousand flowers."


Examples

The museum's collection includes several medieval tapestries with millefleur designs.

"An early 16th century millefleurs tapestry is a charmer, with children playing amidst the birds and animals and the thousand flowers of the style's name." — Sherry Lucas, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi), 29 Sept. 2002



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a noun that refers to an ornament or style that employs flower, foliage, or fruit to produce an intricate pattern: _ ra _ es _ _ e.

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