[frij-ee-uh n]


of or relating to Phrygia, its people, or their language.


a native or inhabitant of Phrygia.
an Indo-European language that was the language of Phrygia.

Origin of Phrygian

From the Latin word Phrygiānus, dating back to 1570–80. See Phrygia, -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phrygian

Historical Examples of phrygian

  • But whether or not the Phrygian Faun was silent, I cannot be.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • The hood resting on the edge of her chignon formed a kind of Phrygian cap.

  • And these, he replied, are the Dorian and Phrygian harmonies of which I was just now speaking.

  • Quite the reverse, he replied; and if so the Dorian and the Phrygian are the only ones which you have left.

  • The pride of the Hellene is further humbled, by being compared to a Phrygian or Lydian.

British Dictionary definitions for phrygian



of or relating to ancient Phrygia, its inhabitants, or their extinct language
music of or relating to an authentic mode represented by the natural diatonic scale from E to ESee Hypo-
music (of a cadence) denoting a progression that leads a piece of music out of the major key and ends on the dominant chord of the relative minor key


a native or inhabitant of ancient Phrygia
an ancient language of Phrygia, belonging to the Thraco-Phrygian branch of the Indo-European family: recorded in a few inscriptions
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 phrygian


late 15c., "native of Phrygia," region in ancient Asia Minor; Phrygian mode in ancient Greek music theory was held to be "of a warlike character." Phrygian cap (1796) was the type adopted by freed slaves in Roman times, and subsequently identified as the cap of Liberty.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper