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


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frippery (countable and uncountable, plural fripperies)

  1. Ostentation, as in fancy clothing.
  2. Useless things; trifles.
  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.



  • 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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for frippery in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)