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[tif-uh-nee] /ˈtɪf ə ni/
noun, plural tiffanies.
a sheer, mesh fabric constructed in plain weave, originally made of silk but now often made of cotton or synthetic fibers.
Origin of tiffany
1250-1300; 1595-1605 for current sense; perhaps punning use of the earlier word, Middle English: feast of the Epiphany < Old French tiphanie Epiphany < Late Latin theophania. See theophany


[tif-uh-nee] /ˈtɪf ə ni/
Charles Lewis, 1812–1902, U.S. jeweler.
his son, Louis Comfort
[kuhm-fert] /ˈkʌm fərt/ (Show IPA),
1848–1933, U.S. painter and decorator, especially of glass.
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tiffany
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My informant had just been told it by one of tiffany's salesmen.

  • Mr. tiffany and my father could play chess all day long, and most of the night.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • tiffany found no answer there to the question in his own eyes.

    The Road Builders Samuel Merwin
  • "Then I will walk with you to your boat," continued Mr. tiffany.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • "Yes, it is a tiffany setting," she observed, seeing my eyes drawn to it.

    Seen and Unseen E. Katharine Bates
British Dictionary definitions for tiffany


noun (pl) -nies
a sheer fine gauzy fabric
Word Origin
C17: (in the sense: a fine dress worn on Twelfth Night): from Old French tifanie, from ecclesiastical Latin theophania Epiphany; see theophany


Louis Comfort. 1848–1933, US glass-maker and Art-Nouveau craftsman, best known for creating the Favrile style of stained glass


noun (pl) -nies
another name for Chantilly (sense 2)
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 tiffany

"type of thin, transparent fabric," c.1600; earlier a common name for the festival of the Epiphany (early 14c.; in Anglo-French from late 13c.), from Old French Tifinie, Tiphanie (c.1200), from Late Latin Theophania "Theophany," another name for the Epiphany, from Greek theophania "the manifestation of a god."

Also popular in Old French and Middle English as a name given to girls born on Epiphany Day. The fabric sense is found only in English and is of obscure origin and uncertain relation to the other meanings, unless as a fanciful allusion to "manifestation:"

The invention of that fine silke, Tiffanie, Sarcenet, and Cypres, which instead of apparell to cover and hide, shew women naked through them. [Holland's "Pliny," 1601]
The fashionable N.Y. jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. (1895) is named for its founder, goldsmith Charles L. Tiffany (1812-1902) and his son, Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), who was the Art Nouveau decorator noted for his glassware. The surname is attested in English from 1206.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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