• Showy or unnecessary ornament in architecture, dress, or language.
  • A tawdry or frivolous thing.

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Example Sentences

“The sleek, modern architecture of the home didn’t allow for any frippery.”

“When you move into the dorm room, you won’t have room for frippery like extra throw pillows and houseplants.” 

“I know it’s frippery, but I want a cathedral-length veil for my wedding.”

Word Origin

French, mid-16th century

Why this word?

Today, “frippery” is applied to overly ornamented architecture or fashion — a dress with layers upon layers of tulle, for example, or a gazebo with elaborately carved columns — but the original usage was for old, secondhand clothes. It comes from the Old French word “frepe,” meaning “rag.”

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