Definition of fleur-de-lis in US English:


(also fleur-de-lys)


  • 1Art Heraldry
    A stylized lily composed of three petals bound together near their bases. It is especially known from the former royal arms of France, in which it appears in gold on a blue field.

    • ‘The royal entry staged by Troyes only a few days earlier emphasized the city's love for the king and culminated with a traditional scene in which a young girl presented the king with a heart of gold that opened to reveal a fleur-de-lys.’
    • ‘This remained the arms of English kings until 1340, when Edward III asserted his claim to the French throne and added the French arms of gold fleur-de-lys scattered on a blue background.’
    • ‘The two versions of the Pilgrimage present the Venus term and the statue of Venus, respectively, as objects of praise analogous to that of the official panegyric, with the rose of Venus substituted for the royal fleur-de-lis.’
    • ‘French Canada also has its monarchical tradition but to a different royal house: the provincial flag of Quebec resurrects the fleur-de-lys of the Bourbon kings.’
    • ‘In the background, a statue of a warrior, signifying Louis's military achievements, stands high atop an orb adorned with fleurs-de-lis, echoing the fleurs-de-lis crowning the dedication.’
    • ‘A little farther away, in the crowd, a young man with a blue tie and a fleur-de-lys in his buttonhole, sells pamphlets of monarchist poetry in honor of Louis de Bourbon for 5 euros.’
    • ‘Among the flowers most commonly represented are roses, lilies, fleurs-de-lis, and sunflowers.’
    • ‘The fleur-de-lis symbolizes France, where the unit saw its first combat experience during World War I, while the feathers denote the conflicts in which the unit participated.’
    • ‘The fleur-de-lis of France, the eagles - single or double-headed - of Prussia, Russia, and Austria, the white horse of Hanover: all these appeared on the battlefield on the national uniforms of European soldiers.’
    • ‘The reporter was particularly taken by ‘Lady Deramore's dress of white and gold brocaded satin, embroidered with tiny gold fleur-de-lis, worn with heirloom diamonds in eighteenth century settings’.’
    • ‘The walls are ornately painted in golds, reds, and blues and there are fleur-de-lis everywhere.’
    • ‘The arms were blue, and scattered with the famous gold fleur-de-lys of France.’
    • ‘In the kirks a certain skill in woodcarving was often evident, and in recognition of the Auld Alliance between France and Scotland, a blue fleur-de-lis carpet was usually a feature.’
    • ‘The hands are gold fleurs-de-lis set with diamonds.’
    • ‘By that time the actual ship had already been modified and the carved bow decoration - three fleurs-de-lis of the royal arms - had been replaced with a liberty cap.’
    • ‘Macleod described this as ‘a noble room, lined with gilt fleur-de-lys on dark blue walls.’
    • ‘The plaque in the center bears the monogram ‘MA’ for Marie Antoinette, and on both sides above the portraits a fleur-de-lis is set against a shield-shaped blue ground.’
    • ‘This is the stemma of the Medici, as established in 1465, with five red roundels - here painted in manganese, since red was not available - and one blue one with three gold fleurs-de-lis.’
    • ‘The scroll motifs and stylized fleurs-de-lis are also typical of Sciacca ware.’
    • ‘Each country was also represented by a small symbol, such as a fleur-de-lis for France, a water buffalo for Vietnam, a panda bear for China, and so on.’
  • 2A European iris.

    Genus Iris, family Iridaceae, in particular I. × germanica ‘Florentina’ (with bluish-white flowers) or I. pseudacorus (the yellow flag)

    • ‘I withdraw into my own space, wiggling my toes and poking the soft fleur-de-lis at the end of my tail.’
    • ‘The provincial motto is Je me souviens (I remember), and the flower is the fleur-de-lis.’


Middle English: from Old French flour de lys ‘flower of the lily’.



/ˈˌflər də ˈˌli//ˈˌflər də ˈˌlē/