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friar

[frahy-er] /ˈfraɪ ər/
noun
1.
Roman Catholic Church. a member of a religious order, especially the mendicant orders of Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, and Augustinians.
2.
Printing. a blank or light area on a printed page caused by uneven inking of the plate or type.
Compare monk (def 3).
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English frier, frere brother < Old French frere < Latin frāter brother
Can be confused
friar, frier, fryer.
Synonyms
1. See monk.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for friar

friar

/ˈfraɪə/
noun
1.
a member of any of various chiefly mendicant religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church, the main orders being Black Friars (Dominicans), Grey Friars (Franciscans), White Friars (Carmelites), and Austin Friars (Augustinians) See also Black Friar, Grey Friar, White Friar, Augustinian
Derived Forms
friarly, adjective
Word Origin
C13 frere, from Old French: brother, from Latin frāterbrother
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 friar
n.

late 13c., from Old French frere "brother, friar" (9c.), originally the mendicant orders (Franciscans, Augustines, Dominicans, Carmelites), who reached England early 13c., from Latin frater "brother" (see brother).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for friar

(from Latin frater through French frere, "brother"), one belonging to a Roman Catholic religious order of mendicants. Formerly, friar was the title given to individual members of these orders, as Friar Laurence (in Romeo and Juliet), but this is no longer common. The 10 mendicant orders are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians (Augustian Hermits), Carmelites, Trinitarians, Mercedarians, Servites, Minims, Hospitallers of St. John of God, and the Teutonic Order (the Austrian branch)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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