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[frahy-er] /ˈfraɪ ər/
Roman Catholic Church. a member of a religious order, especially the mendicant orders of Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, and Augustinians.
Printing. a blank or light area on a printed page caused by uneven inking of the plate or type.
Compare monk (def 3).
Origin of friar
1250-1300; Middle English frier, frere brother < Old French frere < Latin frāter brother
Can be confused
friar, frier, fryer.
1. See monk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for friar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Several of the by-standers declared that he was not that friar.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • This friendly speech of the friar ended as they stepped on the opposite bank.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • Robin waded to shore, and the friar, half swimming and half scrambling, followed.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • Robin and Marian followed: but the friar outstepped them, and pushed off his boat.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • The friar's spirits were not to be marred by such a little incident.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
British Dictionary definitions for friar


a member of any of various chiefly mendicant religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church, the main orders being Black Friars (Dominicans), Grey Friars (Franciscans), White Friars (Carmelites), and Austin Friars (Augustinians) See also Black Friar, Grey Friar, White Friar, Augustinian
Derived Forms
friarly, adjective
Word Origin
C13 frere, from Old French: brother, from Latin frāterbrother
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for friar

late 13c., from Old French frere "brother, friar" (9c.), originally the mendicant orders (Franciscans, Augustines, Dominicans, Carmelites), who reached England early 13c., from Latin frater "brother" (see brother).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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