• synonyms


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 of orphrey

  • 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 for orphrey

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