fleur de lis


[flur-dl-ee, -ees, floor-; French flœr-duh-lees]
noun, plural fleurs-de-lis [flur-dl-eez, floor-; French flœr-duh-lees] .
a heraldic device somewhat resembling three petals or floral segments of an iris tied by an encircling band.
the heraldic bearing of the royal family of France.
the iris flower or plant.
Also, fleur-de-lys (for defs 1, 2).

1300–50; < French; replacing Middle English flourdelis < Anglo-French flour de lis, literally, lily flower

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

also fleur de lis, mid-14c., from O.Fr., lit. "flower of the lily," especially borne as a heraldic device on the royal arms of France. Perhaps originally representing an iris, or the head of a scepter, or a weapon of some sort.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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