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[frinj] /frɪndʒ/
a decorative border of thread, cord, or the like, usually hanging loosely from a raveled edge or separate strip.
anything resembling or suggesting this:
a fringe of grass around a swimming pool.
an outer edge; margin; periphery:
on the fringe of the art world.
something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else:
the lunatic fringe of a strong political party.
Optics. one of the alternate light and dark bands produced by diffraction or interference.
verb (used with object), fringed, fringing.
to furnish with or as if with a fringe.
to serve as a fringe for, or to be arranged around or along so as to suggest a fringe:
armed guards fringing the building.
Origin of fringe
1325-75; Middle English frenge < Old French (French frange) < Vulgar Latin *frimbia, metathetic variant of Late Latin fimbria, Latin fimbriae fringe
Related forms
fringeless, adjective
fringelike, adjective
fringy, adjective
underfringe, noun
unfringe, verb (used with object), unfringed, unfringing.
2. edge, border, skirt, rim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fringing
Historical Examples
  • Coral reefs may be arranged under three classes; namely, fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and atolls.

  • He leaped from the rock and plunged through the fringing skeletons.

    Lady Luck Hugh Wiley
  • Then the scout turned and trotted away, toward a fringing rock wall.

    Star Born Andre Norton
  • Indeed, half the beauty of the rug may lie in the fringing and finish.

    How to make rugs Candace Wheeler
  • fringing the townlet, new gristmill and new factory stood where the mother ditch was bridged.

    Stepsons of Light Eugene Manlove Rhodes
  • Yes, a dandelion, “fringing the dusty road with harmless gold.”

    The Spring of the Year Dallas Lore Sharp
  • The vines (and he pointed at them, fringing the roadside indefinitely) were great places for rattlesnakes.

    A Florida Sketch-Book Bradford Torrey
  • Only the fringing coasts along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are fertile.

    Heroic Spain Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
  • The island of Mauritius, for example, is entirely surrounded by a fringing reef.

  • There was a fringing of willow-bushes along the edge of the river.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for fringing


an edging consisting of hanging threads, tassels, etc
  1. an outer edge; periphery
  2. (as modifier): fringe dwellers, a fringe area
(modifier) unofficial; not conventional in form: fringe theatre
(mainly Brit) a section of the front hair cut short over the forehead
an ornamental border or margin
(physics) any of the light and dark or coloured bands produced by diffraction or interference of light
verb (transitive)
to adorn or fit with a fringe or fringes
to be a fringe for: fur fringes the satin
Derived Forms
fringeless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French frenge, ultimately from Latin fimbria fringe, border; see fimbria
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 fringing



early 14c., from Old French frenge "thread, strand, fringe, hem" (early 14c.), from Vulgar Latin *frimbia, metathesis of Latin fimbriae (plural) "fibers, threads, fringe," of uncertain origin. Figurative sense of "outer edge, margin," is first recorded 1894. Related: Fringes. Fringe benefits is recorded from 1952.


late 15c., from fringe (n.). Related: Fringed; fringing.

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



A benefit, like insurance coverage, added to one's pay; fringe benefit (1960+)

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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