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[fril] /frɪl/
a trimming, as a strip of cloth or lace, gathered at one edge and left loose at the other; ruffle.
something resembling such a trimming, as the fringe of hair on the chest of some dogs.
affectation of manner, style, etc.
something superfluous.
Photography. wrinkling or loosening of an emulsion at the edges, usually due to excessively high temperature during developing.
verb (used with object)
to trim or ornament with a frill or frills.
to form into a frill.
verb (used without object)
Photography. (of an emulsion) to become wrinkled or loose.
Origin of frill
1585-95; origin uncertain
Related forms
friller, noun
unfrill, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for frill
  • Anybody who wants to avoid the traditional pastel and frill for babies ought to go organic.
  • He pretty much makes the same thing every time--some short, fitted jacked with some kind of frill on it and skinny pants.
  • It calls into question, though, whether this frill has a price.
  • Remove to serving dish, place a paper frill on each chop, and garnish with parsley.
  • Insert a stab frill in each nest and one in top of cone.
  • He had a white stock and shirt-frill and a white fore paw.
  • Scientists aren't sure what purpose the frill served.
  • Stubby horns and a small frill would have been of little use warding off such creatures.
  • Along the back of the head was a bony frill resembling a shield, which protected the neck.
  • Historically, interpretation has often been considered a frill without direct benefits to resource agencies.
British Dictionary definitions for frill


a gathered, ruched, or pleated strip of cloth sewn on at one edge only, as on garments, as ornament, or to give extra body
a ruff of hair or feathers around the neck of a dog or bird or a fold of skin around the neck of a reptile or amphibian
(often capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon having a ruff of curled feathers on the chest and crop Full name oriental frill
(photog) a wrinkling or loosening of the emulsion at the edges of a negative or print
(often pl) (informal) a superfluous or pretentious thing or manner; affectation: he made a plain speech with no frills
(transitive) to adorn or fit with a frill or frills
to form into a frill or frills
(intransitive) (photog) (of an emulsion) to develop a frill
Derived Forms
frilliness, noun
frilly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: perhaps of Flemish origin
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 frill

"wavy ornamental edging," 1801 (with a doubtful attestation from 1590s), of uncertain origin despite much speculation [see OED]; figurative sense of "useless ornament" first recorded 1893. The verb meaning "to furnish with a frill" is recorded in 1570s. Related: Frilled.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for frill



A woman, esp a young woman; frail (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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