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oriflamme

[awr-uh-flam, or-]
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noun
  1. the red banner of St. Denis, near Paris, carried before the early kings of France as a military ensign.
  2. any ensign, banner, or standard, especially one that serves as a rallying point or symbol.
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Origin of oriflamme

1425–75; late Middle English oriflam < Middle French oriflamme, Old French, equivalent to orie golden (< Latin aurea, feminine of aureus, derivative of aurum gold) + flamme flame
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

pennonemblemcolorensignstandardcolorsjackpennantbannerbanneretstreamerbanderolebannerolburgeegonfalon

Examples from the Web for oriflamme

Historical Examples

  • To you, Geoffrey de Chargny, I intrust the oriflamme this day.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Advance the oriflamme, Geoffrey, and do you marshal the divisions, Arnold.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The galley which bore the oriflamme was one of the first to touch.

  • The owner of this oriflamme looked like a young Scandinavian god.

    Idolatry

    Julian Hawthorne

  • At length, however, Jeffrey de Charny was killed, and the oriflamme fell.


British Dictionary definitions for oriflamme

oriflamme

noun
  1. a scarlet flag, originally of the abbey of St Denis in N France, adopted as the national banner of France in the Middle Ages
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Word Origin

C15: via Old French, from Latin aurum gold + flamma flame
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 oriflamme

n.

sacred banner of St. Denis, late 15c., from Old French orie flambe, from Latin aurea flamma "golden flame." The ancient battle standard of the kings of France, it was of red or orange-red silk, with two or three points, and was given to the kings by the abbot of St. Denis on setting out to war. Cotgrave says it was "borne at first onely in warres made against Infidells; but afterwards vsed in all other warres; and at length vtterly lost in a battell against the Flemings." It is last mentioned in an abbey inventory of 1534.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper