verb (used with object)

to trim or ornament with a frill or frills.
to form into a frill.

verb (used without object)

Photography. (of an emulsion) to become wrinkled or loose.

Nearby words

  1. frigorific,
  2. frijol,
  3. frijole,
  4. frijoles,
  5. frijoles refritos,
  6. frill-necked lizard,
  7. frilled,
  8. frilled lizard,
  9. frilling,
  10. frills

Origin of frill

First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain

Related formsfrill·er, nounun·frill, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for frills

British Dictionary definitions for frills



a gathered, ruched, or pleated strip of cloth sewn on at one edge only, as on garments, as ornament, or to give extra body
a ruff of hair or feathers around the neck of a dog or bird or a fold of skin around the neck of a reptile or amphibian
(often capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon having a ruff of curled feathers on the chest and cropFull name: oriental frill
photog a wrinkling or loosening of the emulsion at the edges of a negative or print
(often plural) informal a superfluous or pretentious thing or manner; affectationhe made a plain speech with no frills


(tr) to adorn or fit with a frill or frills
to form into a frill or frills
(intr) photog (of an emulsion) to develop a frill
Derived Formsfrilliness, nounfrilly, adjective

Word Origin for frill

C14: perhaps of Flemish origin

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 frills
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper