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[awr-uh-flam, or-] /ˈɔr əˌflæm, ˈɒr-/
the red banner of St. Denis, near Paris, carried before the early kings of France as a military ensign.
any ensign, banner, or standard, especially one that serves as a rallying point or symbol.
Origin of oriflamme
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English oriflam < Middle French oriflamme, Old French, equivalent to orie golden (< Latin aurea, feminine of aureus, derivative of aurum gold) + flamme flame Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oriflamme
Historical Examples
  • The banner of the oriflamme is said to have been unfurled by the French for the last time at Agincourt.

    King Henry the Fifth William Shakespeare
  • To you, Geoffrey de Chargny, I intrust the oriflamme this day.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The owner of this oriflamme looked like a young Scandinavian god.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • At length, however, Jeffrey de Charny was killed, and the oriflamme fell.

  • The oriflamme of the French monarchs maintains its illustrious position.

  • oriflamme has large lanceolate-green leaves, with violet veins, a vigorous showy plant with salmon-orange flowers.

    Talks about Flowers. M. D. Wellcome
  • The oriflamme, or enseigne derived its name from being made of scarlet silk, and covered with flames of gold.

    The Churches of Paris S. Sophia Beale
  • It was doubtless unique in the district and familiar: an oriflamme of battle over the barter of dairy produce and malt liquors.

  • Like a pack of hounds on the very haunch of a deer the English rushed yelling for the oriflamme.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The oriflamme was a red banner attached to a staff, and cut in the manner shown in our engraving.

    Ten Thousand Wonderful Things Edmund Fillingham King
British Dictionary definitions for oriflamme


a scarlet flag, originally of the abbey of St Denis in N France, adopted as the national banner of France in the Middle Ages
Word Origin
C15: via Old French, from Latin aurum gold + flamma flame
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 oriflamme

sacred banner of St. Denis, late 15c., from Old French orie flambe, from Latin aurea flamma "golden flame." The ancient battle standard of the kings of France, it was of red or orange-red silk, with two or three points, and was given to the kings by the abbot of St. Denis on setting out to war. Cotgrave says it was "borne at first onely in warres made against Infidells; but afterwards vsed in all other warres; and at length vtterly lost in a battell against the Flemings." It is last mentioned in an abbey inventory of 1534.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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