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frites

[ freet ]
/ frit /
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plural noun French.
French fries.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does frites mean?

Frites are French fries.

Frites is the French word for French fries. In English-speaking countries, frites is used on menus to indicate that the fries are prepared in the Belgian or French style. But more often the word is simply used to make them sound fancier. Frites is typically used in the plural.

Example: True Belgian frites are cut to a certain thickness and are usually squared off at the ends.

Where does frites come from?

It’s debated whether French fries originated in France or Belgium, but the origin of the word frites in English is more certain. It comes from the French phrase pommes frites, meaning “fried potatoes.” Much like how many English speakers just say fries instead of French fries, French speakers often just say frites instead of pommes frites.

French fries and frites are the same thing: potato strips fried in oil until they’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, ideally. But some purists argue that for fried potatoes to be called frites, they must be prepared in a specific way associated with the kind of frites found in Belgium: cut from fully peeled, fresh potatoes, soaked in water, and fried twice in animal fat. However, not all fries called frites are made this way. In reality, the word frites is often used outside of Belgium and France as a fancier way of saying fries (a lot like how mayo is sometimes called aioli on American menus).

In the United States, the word frites is most commonly encountered on menus that include dishes that are classic staples of French bistros, such as steak frites (steak served on top of or alongside fries).

One last thing before you go out and order yourself some frites: it’s pronounced freet, with a long E sound and without the S at the end. (Still, when ordering your frites, it’s probably safer to say “freets” so they don’t bring you only one. Just don’t say “frights.”)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of frites?

  • frite (singular)

What are some synonyms for frites?

What are some words that share a root or word element with frites

What are some words that often get used in discussing frites?

How is frites used in real life?

American restaurants sometimes call fries frites to make them sound fancier (so they can charge more for them). But if they make them right, it’s probably worth it.

 

 

Try using frites!

Is frites used correctly in the following sentence?

When I was traveling in Belgium, I stopped at a food stall almost every day to order some frites—best fries I’ve ever had!

How to use frites in a sentence

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