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See more synonyms for orphrey on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural or·phreys.
  1. an ornamental band or border, especially on an ecclesiastical vestment.
  2. gold embroidery.
  3. rich embroidery of any sort.
  4. a piece of richly embroidered material.
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Also or·fray [awr-frey, -free] /ˈɔr freɪ, -fri/.

Origin of orphrey

1300–50; Middle English orfreis (later construed as plural) < Old French < Medieval Latin aurifrisium, variant of aurifrigium, for Latin phrase aurum Phrygium gold embroidery, literally, Phrygian gold
Related formsor·phreyed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for orphrey

Historical Examples

  • The shoulders were vested in a cope, and this cameo set in the centre of the orphrey.

    The Churches of Paris

    S. Sophia Beale

  • Orphrey, or′fri, n. gold or other rich embroidery attached to vestments, esp.

  • The orphrey is divided into tabernacles containing an archbishop, two bishops, and three kings and queens.

    Needlework As Art

    Marian Alford

  • The chasuble upon which this orphrey is placed is made of a lovely brocaded silk decorated with falcons, peahens, and roses.

British Dictionary definitions for orphrey


less commonly orfray

  1. a richly embroidered band or border, esp on an ecclesiastical vestment
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Word Origin

C13 orfreis, from Old French, from Late Latin aurifrisium, auriphrygium, from Latin aurum gold + Phrygius Phrygian
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