- a decorative border of thread, cord, or the like, usually hanging loosely from a raveled edge or separate strip.
- anything resembling or suggesting this: a fringe of grass around a swimming pool.
- an outer edge; margin; periphery: on the fringe of the art world.
- something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else: the lunatic fringe of a strong political party.
- Optics. one of the alternate light and dark bands produced by diffraction or interference.
- fringe benefit.
- to furnish with or as if with a fringe.
- to serve as a fringe for, or to be arranged around or along so as to suggest a fringe: armed guards fringing the building.
Origin of fringe
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fringes
It is more comforting to associate bigotry with certain attitudes supposedly on the fringes of public life.Why Bigotry Persists
Stephen Eric Bronner
September 28, 2014
Smith survived the night patrol, and met Tolkien again on the fringes of the Battle of the Somme that summer.Why World War I Is at the Heart of ‘Lord of the Rings’
July 29, 2014
The fringes of the scarf lead to a collection of kitsch photos colored in purple dye.Shining a Spotlight on Mexico’s Iconic Textile—the Rebozo
June 16, 2014
This is a way to bring people in, as opposed to leaving them on the fringes of society.How the Hiring Process Marginalizes Candidates on the Autism Spectrum
May 23, 2014
In among the gay bars and risqué bookshops, Hamza started working on the fringes of the sex industry.
You can see where some have torn off portions of the fringes to clean their rifles.When the West Was Young
Frederick R. Bechdolt
For the Padre had not always lived beyond the fringes of civilization.The Golden Woman
Of course "the System" fringes and ravels away, having no real outline.The Book of the Damned
Fimbria: thick, ciliated hair at the termination of any part: fringes.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
They showed merely the feet or fringes of some huge and empty architecture.The Wisdom of Father Brown
G. K. Chesterton
- an edging consisting of hanging threads, tassels, etc
- an outer edge; periphery
- (as modifier)fringe dwellers; a fringe area
- (modifier) unofficial; not conventional in formfringe theatre
- mainly British a section of the front hair cut short over the forehead
- an ornamental border or margin
- physics any of the light and dark or coloured bands produced by diffraction or interference of light
- to adorn or fit with a fringe or fringes
- to be a fringe forfur fringes the satin
Word Origin and History for fringes
early 14c., from Old French frenge "thread, strand, fringe, hem" (early 14c.), from Vulgar Latin *frimbia, metathesis of Latin fimbriae (plural) "fibers, threads, fringe," of uncertain origin. Figurative sense of "outer edge, margin," is first recorded 1894. Related: Fringes. Fringe benefits is recorded from 1952.
late 15c., from fringe (n.). Related: Fringed; fringing.