Definition of Frisian in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈfrɪʒ(ə)n//ˈfriːzɪən//ˈfriːʒ(ə)n/


  • Relating to Frisia or Friesland, its people, or language.

    • ‘The 1991 state budget included an item for the cultural activities of the Frisian ethnic group.’
    • ‘When we compared our data with an additional 177 samples collected in Friesland and Norway, we found that the Central English and Frisian samples were statistically indistinguishable.’
    • ‘The Frisian language is taught in the public schools, but not in the private schools.’
    • ‘He brought no treasures back from the battle to the Frisian king but died in the fight.’
    • ‘He is straight talking and straight shooting in the best tradition of northern Holland's Frisian population.’
    • ‘So far, I have only encountered this theme in Frisian texts.’
    • ‘This article is about the Ostrogothic and Frisian languages, two members of the Germanic language group - to which English, too, belongs.’
    • ‘The world's first spy novel takes place in Frisian waters mostly off of the German coast not long before World War I begins.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the eighth century, Anglo-Saxon and Frisian merchants had sailed up the Seine to Paris, carrying the wine to be sold at the fairs of Saint-Denis.’
    • ‘In particular, it would be very much in keeping with Frisian practice in this period to use just a single name.’
    • ‘At least she must have Frisian ancestors; her unique name means ‘little girl’ in Frisian’
    • ‘Anglo-Saxon migrants, possibly with some Frisian elements, settled early in East Anglia in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.’
    • ‘They were paid the compliment of being imitated in larger numbers by Frisian forgers later in the century.’
    • ‘Johannes Stinstra was a Mennonite preacher in the Frisian town of Harlingen.’
    • ‘There are several Frisian museums, libraries, archives and cultural centres in both countries.’
    • ‘The Frisian Academy sponsors scholarly publications on Frisian history and culture, including a definitive historical dictionary.’
    • ‘This farthest extent of Frisian territory is known as Frisia Magna.’
    • ‘The tribes we're following - the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes - lived on the coast of West Germany and Denmark and spoke various Frisian dialects.’
    • ‘A Frisian fleet arrived in 1218, and it was John and the Frisians who decided to attack at Damietta.’
    • ‘She also carried on her research, collecting caterpillars on the Frisian heaths and moors and making notes and drawings.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Frisia or Friesland.

    • ‘The overwhelming sense I came away with was that the Frisians are proud of being Frisian and Dutch and are comfortable in their dual identity.’
    • ‘The first group actually to set out consisted of Flemings, Frisians and English.’
    • ‘The western portion was inhabited by the Batavians and became part of a Roman province; the eastern portion was inhabited by the Frisians.’
    • ‘This would suggest the Frisians, English and Scots are similar, but that they differ from the Welsh and Irish.’
    • ‘Between his arrival in 718 and his murder by pagans in 754, Boniface preached among the Frisians, Germans, and Franks, setting up a see at Mainz.’
    • ‘The Frisians live in Friesland, one of the Netherlands' northern provinces.’
    • ‘Like other Dutch people, the Frisians wear modern Western-style clothing for both casual and formal occasions.’
    • ‘A Frisian fleet arrived in 1218, and it was John and the Frisians who decided to attack at Damietta.’
    • ‘In Friesland, the Frisians enjoy some unique pastimes around the canals.’
    • ‘The Crusaders were to assemble in Italy in 1217 and set out from there, but the Frisians were late arriving, and the army had to wait out the winter.’
    • ‘Such trade was dominated by the traditionally seafaring races such as the Frisians and Scandinavians.’
    • ‘Most historians accept this background, with the later addition of Frisians.’
    • ‘The Frisians, who were already sufficiently competent seamen, were known for their extensive trade.’
    • ‘The Angles, Saxons, Danes, Frisians and other invaders intermarried with the existing Romano-British Celts, Romans, Jutes, Gauls, Greeks and Lombards.’
    • ‘An attempt is made to heal the long-standing feud between the Danes and the Frisians by the marriage of the Frisian king Finn to Hildeburh.’
    • ‘Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians who settled in England were still imbued with the traditional freedom of primitive German society.’
    • ‘Since World War II, Frisians have been moving out of Friesland and have become scattered among the majority population, while the Dutch have been moving in.’
    • ‘With both tribes depleted through war, Finn offered peace between the Danes and the Frisians, and an equal division of property and wealth.’
    • ‘Most of the Frisians now went home, greatly angering the others.’
    • ‘At this time a deep rift developed between the Frisians in West-Friesland and the counts of Holland.’
  • 2[mass noun] The Germanic language of Frisia or Friesland, most closely related to English and Dutch, now with fewer than 400,000 speakers.

    • ‘Other national examples include the return of Gaelic to schools in Scotland and Wales, school courses in Northern Italy in Friulian, Dutch radio broadcasts in Frisian, and Finnish broadcasts in Saami.’
    • ‘Since the 19th century, Frisian has revived as a literary language.’
    • ‘Besides, any genetic tree that places English more than one node away from Frisian is too arbitrary to be credible.’
    • ‘The story of Ostrogothic exemplifies what we have already lost; the story of Frisian exemplifies what we can still save.’
    • ‘It is the language in everyday use everywhere but in Friesland, where ancient Frisian is spoken.’
    • ‘About half of Friesland's 600,000 residents speak both Dutch and Frisian.’
    • ‘In the Netherlands, Frisian, Turkish, and Arabic are also spoken.’
    • ‘No one is demanding that English-speaking Americans be forced to learn Navajo, any more than anyone is demanding that the Dutch of Amsterdam learn Frisian.’


Late 16th century: from Latin Frisii Frisians (from Old Frisian Frīsa, Frēsa) + -ian.