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fleur-de-lis

[flur-dl-ee, -ees, floo r-; French flœr-duh-lees]
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noun, plural fleurs-de-lis [flur-dl-eez, floo r-; French flœr-duh-lees] /ˌflɜr dlˈiz, ˌflʊər-; French flœr dəˈlis/.
  1. a heraldic device somewhat resembling three petals or floral segments of an iris tied by an encircling band.
  2. the heraldic bearing of the royal family of France.
  3. the iris flower or plant.
Also fleur-de-lys (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of fleur-de-lis

1300–50; < French; replacing Middle English flourdelis < Anglo-French flour de lis, literally, lily flower
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fleur-de-lis

Historical Examples

  • The scout badge is not intended to represent the fleur-de-lis, or an arrowhead.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • Bigot's letters by the Fleur-de-Lis were calculated to alarm him.

    The Golden Dog

    William Kirby

  • It is often seen in the conventional form of the fleur-de-lis.

    The Worship of the Church

    Jacob A. Regester

  • It was further decorated with a border of fleur-de-lis in seed pearls.

  • The Iris is the Fleur-de-lis of France, which was for long the royal emblem.


Word Origin and History for fleur-de-lis

n.

also fleur de lis, mid-14c., from Old French, literally "flower of the lily," especially borne as a heraldic device on the royal arms of France. Perhaps originally representing an iris, or the head of a scepter, or a weapon of some sort.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper