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From French friperie. From Old French fripier (to rub up and down, to wear into rags). Compare fripper.


  • (file)


frippery (countable and uncountable, plural fripperies)

  1. Ostentation, as in fancy clothing.
  2. Useless things; trifles.
    1892 Frederick Law Olmsted, "Report by F.L.O.", April 1892. Quoted in 2003, Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Random House, ISBN 0609608444, page 170:
    • ["Olmsted reiterated his insistence that in Chicago"] simplicity and reserve will be practiced and petty effects and frippery avoided.
  3. (obsolete) Cast-off clothes.
  4. (obsolete) The trade or traffic in old clothes.
  5. (obsolete) The place where old clothes are sold.
  6. Hence: secondhand finery; cheap and tawdry decoration; affected elegance.
    Fond of gauze and French frippery.Oliver Goldsmith.
    The gauzy frippery of a French translation.Sir W. Scott.



  • 1897 Universal Dictionary of the English Language, Robert Hunter and Charles Morris, eds., v 2 p 2213. [for entries 2, 3, 4, & 5]

Frippery (Page: 597)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.