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[frit-l-er-ee] /ˈfrɪt lˌɛr i/
noun, plural fritillaries.
any of several orange-brown nymphalid butterflies, usually marked with black lines and dots and with silvery spots on the undersides of the wings.
Origin of fritillary
1625-35; < New Latin; see fritillaria Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for fritillary


noun (pl) -laries
any N temperate liliaceous plant of the genus Fritillaria, having purple or white drooping bell-shaped flowers, typically marked in a chequered pattern See also snake's head
any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genera Argynnis, Boloria, etc, having brownish wings chequered with black and silver
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin fritillāria, from Latin fritillus dice box; probably with reference to the spotted markings
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 fritillary

type of butterfly, 1857, earlier a type of plant (Fritillaria Meleagris, 1633), from Latin fritillus "dice-box," from fritinnire "to twitter," imitative of the rattle of dice. The butterfly so called perhaps from resemblance of its markings to those of dice; or the names may have been given in confusion, perhaps on the notion that fritillus meant "chessboard."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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