[ 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).

Nearby words

  1. frf,
  2. frg,
  3. frgs,
  4. fri.,
  5. friable,
  6. friar minor,
  7. friar minor capuchin,
  8. friar minor conventual,
  9. friar preacher,
  10. friar tuck

Origin of friar

1250–1300; Middle English frier, frere brother < Old French frere < Latin frāter brother

Can be confusedfriar frier fryer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for friar

British Dictionary definitions for friar


/ (ˈfraɪə) /


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 Formsfriarly, adjective

Word Origin for friar

C13 frere, from Old French: brother, from Latin frāter brother

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 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