One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A shelter, a refuge.
2Archaeology. A hollow beneath overhanging rock; a rock shelter.
Mid 18th century. From French abri shelter, refuge (12th cent. in Old French; 1866 or earlier in specific archaeological use with reference to rock shelters, more fully abri sous roche, lit. ‘shelter beneath a rock’, also abri sous roches) from abrier to shelter, to protect from post-classical Latin apricare to warm, protect from cold, variant (with change of conjugation) of classical Latin aprīcārī.
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