• synonyms


[ar-uh s]
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  1. a rich tapestry.
  2. a tapestry weave.
  3. a wall hanging, as a tapestry or similar object.
  4. Theater. a curtain suspended loosely across a stage and used as a backdrop or part of a stage setting.
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Origin of arras1

1375–1425; late Middle English, named after Arras
Related formsar·rased, adjective


[ahr-ahs; Spanish ahr-rahs]
noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. a gift presented at marriage by a husband to his wife in consideration of her dowry.
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Origin of arras2

< Spanish: literally, earnest money. See earnest2


[ar-uh s; French a-rahs]
  1. a city in and capital of Pas-de-Calais, in N France: battles in World War I.
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  1. a department in N France. 2607 sq. mi. (6750 sq. km). Capital: Arras.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

drapery, hanging, arras, dosser

Examples from the Web for arras

Historical Examples

  • They had remained behind the arras, and had not gone out as she must have supposed.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • At Arras in June, there was almost as much activity as at Ypres.

  • When there he married the daughter of the rich owner of a spinning factory at Arras.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • If this army was defeated, the loss of Arras was not the only misfortune to be dreaded.

  • Not a picture on the walls, not an arras, but had been rent to shreds.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for arras


  1. a wall hanging, esp of tapestry
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  1. a town in N France: formerly famous for tapestry; severely damaged in both World Wars. Pop: 40 590 (1999)
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  1. a department of N France, in Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, on the Straits of Dover (the Pas de Calais): the part of France closest to the British Isles. Capital: Arras. Pop: 1 451 307 (2003 est). Area: 6752 sq km (2633 sq miles)
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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

Word Origin and History for arras


"pictured tapestry," late 14c., from Anglo-French draps d'arras, from Arras, city in France where pictured tapestries were made, from Latin Atrebates, name of a tribe of the Belgae who inhabited the Artois region; probably literally "inhabitants," from a Celtic trebu "tribe."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper