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[flur-dl-ee, -ees, floo r-; French flœr-duh-lees] /ˌflɜr dlˈi, -ˈis, ˌflʊər-; French flœr dəˈlis/
noun, plural fleurs-de-lis
[flur-dl-eez, floo r-; French flœr-duh-lees] /ˌflɜr dlˈiz, ˌflʊər-; French flœr dəˈlis/ (Show IPA)
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.
Origin of fleur-de-lis
1300-50; < French; replacing Middle English flourdelis < Anglo-French flour de lis, literally, lily flower Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fleur-de-lis
  • Arched panels over the windows, with a fleur-de-lis carved above each keystone, embellish the dining room.
  • fleur-de-lis vase with primary standard sequence glyph band.
  • The segmental arched windows are topped by decorative cast-iron hoods with a modified fleur-de-lis motif at the center.
  • Each capital is ornamented with a band of fleur-de-lis and an egg-and-dart molding.
  • The windows of the veranda are distinguished with stone keystones, with an incised fleur-de-lis design.
  • It is set off from the second story by a frieze band consisting of terra cotta blocks with embossed fleur-de-lis designs.
  • The arch below features inverted fleur-de-lis gingerbread repeated by a single pendant motif at the apex of the gable.
British Dictionary definitions for fleur-de-lis


noun (pl) fleurs-de-lys, fleurs-de-lis (ˌflɜːdəˈliːz)
(heraldry) a charge representing a lily with three distinct petals
another name for iris (sense 2)
Word Origin
C19: from Old French flor de lis, literally: lily flower
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fleur-de-lis

also fleur de lis, mid-14c., from Old French, literally "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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