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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 fringy
Historical Examples
  • Now, if it wasnt for that fringy thing he wears on his face, hed look almost exactly like a small-sized human.

    Friar Tuck Robert Alexander Wason
  • When they so cut them, they get fringy—and such fringes are more long than other fringes.

    The Story of Opal Opal Whiteley
  • Here the trees grew to immense heights before they put forth their crown of fringy foliage.

  • She only wagged her fringy tail, and licked her mistress's hand, and goggled at her with her full dark eyes.

  • In the lively jumble of robust, rejoicing realities about him, he seemed to have emerged from the fringy edges of a daze.

    Villa Elsa Stuart Henry
  • Their long branches will be a mass of flowers with fringy petals and a yellow centre.

    Amateur Gardencraft Eben E. Rexford
  • My jacket collar is all fringy round the edges, and the top button is split.

    Glory and the Other Girl Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • It can be planted as a border, since it grows low and has a fringy, decorative effect.

British Dictionary definitions for fringy


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 fringy



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 fringy



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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