Definition of frill in English:



  • 1A strip of gathered or pleated material sewn on to a garment or larger piece of material as a decorative edging or ornament.

    • ‘Kelly dressed in one of her grandmother's latest proper girl dresses, which usually included lace or frills or both.’
    • ‘It was black, all right… and it had frills on the collar and sleeves.’
    • ‘The shutters were latched and a faint light illuminated the embroidered curtain frills and the white satin duvet folded neatly across the bed.’
    • ‘Lace was tied at the top, and it had little frills around spaghetti straps.’
    • ‘She finally settled on French toast, and rose in her night gown that matched the yellow walls, with light frills on the bottom and sleeves.’
    • ‘Her frill tore and her shoulder and her tattoo were revealed.’
    • ‘It was a white color with long sleeves, a full skirt with lace and frills galore, and a low but modest bodice edged with pearls.’
    • ‘The hallway of Van Beveren's house is filled with colourful tops, dresses and bathing suits with strategically placed frills, bold prints or appliqués.’
    • ‘The white pillow with frills on Rita's bed made an excellent muffle for the young heroine's pain-wretched moans.’
    • ‘There was enough for the body and the sleeves, but not enough for the frills on the sleeve or the button band.’
    • ‘It was a light pale blue dress with spaghetti straps, simple, no frills or lace, that was made of some sort of slightly lustrous material.’
    • ‘What if it turns out that you look really hot in frills?’
    • ‘There were tucks and folds and frills and bows and lace and rhinestones and embroidery and ribbons all over it.’
    • ‘The sleeves of the shirt were, thanks to Allicia, immaculately black, the frills of the cuffs ruffled lightly.’
    • ‘It had frills at the end of the sleeves and exposed her shoulders.’
    • ‘Or add on the frills, scrunched sleeves and bows for a very very feminine blouse, like the pink Vuitton one on the right.’
    • ‘Perhaps you prefer romantic lace, trendy ruching, vintage frays, dressy frills or the latest dirty-denim.’
    • ‘Everyone knows that a cute outfit is made with nice light colors and pretty frills.’
    • ‘It was pink, with frills around the collar and bottom hem.’
    • ‘He sported a purple waistcoat with gold stripes and frills of lace at his throat and cuffs.’
    ruffle, flounce, ruff, furbelow, jabot, peplum, flute, ruche, ruching, gather, tuck, fringe
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    1. 1.1A thing resembling a frill in appearance or function.
      ‘tiny frills of foam glistened white on the sea’
      • ‘In his book on orchids he documents the elaborate frills and furbelows, gimmicks and traps, that lure and exploit insect pollinators, thereby ensuring cross-fertilization.’
      • ‘To overcome the wax problem one may use a paper frill, or a silver foil mince pie container to create a collar containing the wax.’
      • ‘One variety has double flowers that are a mass of frills but it almost seems like too much perfection in one flower.’
    2. 1.2A natural fringe of feathers or hair on a bird or other animal.
      • ‘These reptiles are often ornamented with a crest of scales along the back, as well as assorted spines, frills, and throat fans; all this gives them a remarkably prehistoric appearance.’
    3. 1.3An upward-curving bony plate extending behind the skull of many ceratopsian dinosaurs.
      • ‘So ceratopsian frills may also have functioned as heat radiators, or signaling devices, or to attract mates, in addition to whatever protective function they may or may not have had.’
      • ‘Three prominent horns and a large frill at the back of the skull are the distinguishing characteristics of Triceratops.’
      • ‘Their ornamented dome may have served as a communication system that was primarily visual within species, analogous to the crests, horns, and frills of ceratopsid dinosaurs.’
      • ‘On some Triceratops fossils, both on the face and on the frill (the only plate extending back over its neck), there are healed puncture wounds.’
      • ‘For example, let's say you've got an eight-foot long skull of a Triceratops-like dinosaur adorned with horns over the nose and eyes, and an elongated bony frill sticking out behind.’
  • 2An unnecessary extra feature or embellishment.

    ‘it was just a comfortable flat with no frills’
    • ‘In an article last October, I described how my wife and I planned to chop around £800 a month from our expenses by cutting back on unnecessary luxuries, frills and trimmings.’
    • ‘‘Our clients are paying for our services, not the extra frills of working from the glassy palaces of Covent Garden,’ he said.’
    • ‘However, thanks to its extra frills like a high-resolution screen and the camera, it retails at a steep price of $999.’
    • ‘The symposium will bring together a host of experts, and help us have new perspectives in which history and their players appear without frills.’
    • ‘Donald's focus underscores a basic fact in business today: Training and learning are not extras or frills.’
    • ‘Some of the tax code's frills and furbelows are justifiable.’
    • ‘Natchez brings big New Orleans flavors to the East Village, without frills or gimmicks.’
    • ‘First, you make well-intentioned promises to throw a small, intimate gathering, with minimal frills and no bells or whistles.’
    • ‘For the person who wants a solid variety of programming but doesn't want any extra frills, this is the way to go.’
    • ‘Cross argues that dismissing music as a useless frill smacks of ethnocentricity.’
    • ‘They don't include a whole lot of frills and extras, but the end result is a cheaper priced board.’
    • ‘It's as nice a defensive pistol as you can buy, with every feature needed and no unnecessary frills.’
    • ‘All told, this disc presents a pleasant slate of pop jazz tunes with no frills.’
    • ‘They want no fuss, frills, complications and definitely no maintenance.’
    • ‘At the same time, youth counsellors have been cut out of Toronto's public education system as a frill.’
    • ‘There are big changes coming up on the website, with added frills and better accessibility.’
    • ‘But the San Francisco Chronicle declared that it is ‘a routine thriller, with Western frills and fringes’.’
    • ‘‘In an economic downturn, you cut out the frills,’ Funderburg says.’
    • ‘The lines and silhouettes throughout the room were smooth and clean, devoid of frills or embellishments.’
    • ‘And while we like mass transit, door-to-door school bus service is a frill they should cut.’
    ostentation, ornamentation, decoration, embellishment, fanciness, fuss, chichi, garnishing, garnishment, gilding, excess
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Late 16th century: from or related to Flemish frul.