1 [ar-uhs]
a rich tapestry.
a tapestry weave.
a wall hanging, as a tapestry or similar object.
Theater. a curtain suspended loosely across a stage and used as a backdrop or part of a stage setting.

1375–1425; late Middle English, named after Arras

arrased, adjective Unabridged


2 [ahr-ahs; Spanish ahr-rahs]
noun (used with a singular verb)
a gift presented at marriage by a husband to his wife in consideration of her dowry.

< Spanish: literally, earnest money. See earnest2


[ar-uhs; French a-rahs]
a city in and capital of Pas-de-Calais, in N France: battles in World War I.


a department in N France. 2607 sq. mi. (6750 sq. km). Capital: Arras. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To arras
World English Dictionary
arras (ˈærəs)
a wall hanging, esp of tapestry

Arras (ˈærəs, French arɑs)
a town in N France: formerly famous for tapestry; severely damaged in both World Wars. Pop: 40 590 (1999)

Pas-de-Calais (French pɑdkalɛ)
a department of N France, in Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, on the Straits of Dover (the Pas de Calais): the part of France closest to the British Isles. Capital: Arras. Pop: 1 451 307 (2003 est). Area: 6752 sq km (2633 sq miles)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"pictured tapestry," late 14c., from Anglo-Norm. draps d'arras, from Arras, city in France where pictured tapestries were made, from L. Atrebates, name of a tribe of the Belgae who inhabited the Artois region; probably lit. "inhabitants," from a Celtic trebu "tribe."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


town, capital of Pas-de-Calais departement, Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, former capital of Artois, northern France, on the Scarpe River, southwest of Lille. Of Gallo-Roman origin, it was the chief town (Nemetacum or Nemetocenna) of the Atrebates, one of the last Gallic peoples to surrender to Caesar. The woollen industry dates from the 4th century. The Middle Ages was a period of great material and cultural wealth, when Arras became the English word for tapestry hangings. The fortunes of the town followed those of troubled Artois, and it passed through many hands before being joined for the last time to France in 1659 by the Treaty of the Pyrenees. A peace treaty (1435) was signed there by Philip the Good of Burgundy and Charles VII of France. The Peace of Arras in 1482 fixed the northern frontiers of modern France. From 1479 to 1484 Louis XI, after razing the walls, ordered a mass deportation of citizens. Arras was the birthplace of Robespierre. The French Revolution and both world wars destroyed many of its ancient buildings. The town centres on two arcaded and gabled squares, the Grande and Petite. The reconstructed 16th-century Gothic Hotel de Ville is on the Petite Place

Learn more about Arras with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature