vair

vair

[vair]
noun
1.
a fur much used for lining and trimming garments in the 13th and 14th centuries, generally assumed to have been that of a variety of squirrel with a gray back and white belly. Compare miniver ( def 1 ).
2.
Heraldry. a fur represented by a pattern of escutcheon- or bell-shaped figures, each outlining the adjacent sides of those beside it so that the figures alternate vertically and horizontally both in position and in tinctures, of which argent and azure are common.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin varium something particolored; see various

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World English Dictionary
vair (vɛə)
 
n
1.  a fur, probably Russian squirrel, used to trim robes in the Middle Ages
2.  Compare ermine one of the two principal furs used on heraldic shields, conventionally represented by white and blue skins in alternate lines
 
[C13: from Old French: of more than one colour, from Latin varius variegated, various]

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