See more synonyms for fringe on
  1. a decorative border of thread, cord, or the like, usually hanging loosely from a raveled edge or separate strip.
  2. anything resembling or suggesting this: a fringe of grass around a swimming pool.
  3. an outer edge; margin; periphery: on the fringe of the art world.
  4. something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else: the lunatic fringe of a strong political party.
  5. Optics. one of the alternate light and dark bands produced by diffraction or interference.
  6. fringe benefit.
verb (used with object), fringed, fring·ing.
  1. to furnish with or as if with a fringe.
  2. 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

1325–75; Middle English frenge < Old French (French frange) < Vulgar Latin *frimbia, metathetic variant of Late Latin fimbria, Latin fimbriae fringe
Related formsfringe·less, adjectivefringe·like, adjectivefring·y, adjectiveun·der·fringe, nounun·fringe, verb (used with object), un·fringed, un·fring·ing.

Synonyms for fringe

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fringe

Contemporary Examples of fringe

Historical Examples of fringe

  • But the fringe did not reach to the ground and under the bush, in its dark interior.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • Dissembling her displeasure, she praised the hammer-cloth, and especially the fringe.

  • One might edge a wall-paper or fringe a robe with a recurring decimal.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • A fringe of ice had formed during the night along the shore.

  • The woods leaned over the fringe of bushes cool and green and silent.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for fringe


  1. an edging consisting of hanging threads, tassels, etc
    1. an outer edge; periphery
    2. (as modifier)fringe dwellers; a fringe area
  2. (modifier) unofficial; not conventional in formfringe theatre
  3. mainly British a section of the front hair cut short over the forehead
  4. an ornamental border or margin
  5. physics any of the light and dark or coloured bands produced by diffraction or interference of light
verb (tr)
  1. to adorn or fit with a fringe or fringes
  2. to be a fringe forfur fringes the satin
Derived Formsfringeless, adjective

Word Origin for fringe

C14: from Old French frenge, ultimately from Latin fimbria fringe, border; see fimbria
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 fringe

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper