Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hook-and-loop arrangement used for a clasp on armor and clothing.
  • n. A cramp iron for holding stones together in building.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A clasp consisting of a hook which fastens on to a ring.
  • n. A hook, eyelet, or other device by which a piano wire is so held as to limit the vibration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hook or clasp.
  • n. A hook, eyelet, or other device by which a piano wire is so held as to limit the vibration.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A clasp or hook, used in armor or in ordinary costume, fastening in the same manner as the modern hook and eye, often made into a large and rich ornament by concealing the hook itself beneath a jeweled, engraved, embossed, or enameled plate: as, “an agraffe set with brilliants,” Scott, Ivanhoe. Also agrappe, fermail.
  • n. A device for preventing the vibration of that part of a piano-string which is between the pin and the bridge.
  • n. A small crampiron used by builders.
  • n. An appliance used in operations for harelip to keep the two surfaces of the wound in apposition.
  • n. An iron fastening used to hold in place the cork of a bottle containing champagne or other effervescing wine during the final fermentation.

Etymologies

French agrafe, from agrafer, to hook onto : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad-) + grafer, to hook (from grafe, hook, from Old High German krāpfo).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French agrafe, from agrafer ("to hook"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A young girl is about to join together on her left shoulder the chiton, which is fastened over the right shoulder by means of an agraffe.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • The opals in the silver agraffe were all she wanted.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • Besides, the opals are forgiven now: for they have permitted me to show you that you were not unknown to me, Prince; and, as you see, I wear this dear agraffe always.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • I have kept the lake pebbles she gave me, and death has passed me by; but the opals of the agraffe did not bring happiness to your mother.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • Smiling, but her beautiful lips mute, Marsa seemed to say to him: "Yes, it is the agraffe which you detached from your soldier's pelisse and gave to an unknown Tzigana near your father's grave."

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • In a sort of voluntary hallucination, he imagined that he was going, as in former days, to Marsa's house; and that she was awaiting him in one of those white frocks which became her so well, with her silver belt clasped with the agraffe of opals.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • Pale as her white robe, with Tizsa's opal agraffe at her side, ready to clasp the bouquet of flowers held by one of her maids, she had never been so exquisitely beautiful; and Vogotzine, who was rather a poor hand at turning a compliment, compared her to a marble statue.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • Andras slowly detached from his shoulder the silver agraffe, set with opals, which clasped his fur pelisse, and handed it to the gypsy, who regarded it with admiring eyes as it flashed in the red light.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • The feather of an ostrich, fastened in her turban by an agraffe set with brilliants, was another distinction of the beautiful Jewess, scoffed and sneered at by the proud dames who sat above her, but secretly envied by those who affected to deride them.

    Ivanhoe

  • Sometimes he wore a biretta with a diamond agraffe and a high plume of heron feathers.

    Napoleon's Campaign in Russia Anno 1812

Comments

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  • JM is looking for an agraffe recycling depot.

    September 29, 2009

  • Those karakul are known for their velcro-like fleece.

    April 15, 2008

  • I'd really love to find out that Velcro dates back to ancient times, you know, sheep being lifted aboard ships by Vikings burying their beards in the wool and lifting them up.
    I really would be Very happy.

    April 15, 2008

  • Indeed. Muselet is now on my list--but I'll keep agraffe for old time's sake. Thanks, sionnach.

    April 15, 2008

  • Sounds like ancient Velcro to me.

    April 15, 2008

  • So I just learned that the more specific term for the wire holding in the cork in a champagne bottle is muselet. Raising the question of what agraffe might mean:

    The Grandiloquent Dictionary:
    agraffe -( )
    The wire that holds the cork in a bottle of champagne

    dictionary.com:
    1. a small cramp iron.
    2. a clasp, often richly ornamented, for clothing or armor.
    3. a device, as a hook, for preventing vibration in the section of a piano string between the pin and the bridge.
    4. (in classical architecture) a sculptural relief on the face of a keystone.

    American Heritage Dictionary
    1. A hook-and-loop arrangement used for a clasp on armor and clothing.
    2. A cramp iron for holding stones together in building.

    Webster's Revised Unabridged
    1. A hook or clasp.

    The feather of an ostrich, fastened in her turban by an agraffe set with brilliants. --Sir W. Scott.

    2. A hook, eyelet, or other device by which a piano wire is so held as to limit the vibration.

    The Phrontistery
    agraffe: hooked clasp used by masons to hold blocks together

    Luciferous Logolepsy
    agraffe
    n. - hook, especially on piano-string to prevent rattle.

    Merriam Webster
    a hook-and-loop fastening; especially : an ornamental clasp used on armor or costumes

    I guess you pays your money and you takes your choice.

    April 15, 2008

  • Thanks for the suggestions! I'm on it. :-)

    February 23, 2007

  • reesetee: go for it! A few suggestions to get started - chaston,izles,sgriob, curglaff

    February 23, 2007

  • I love this type of word--the kind that names an object you never thought would have a name.

    Say...good idea for a list! I think I'll try it (unless you're planning to, sionnach). :-)

    February 23, 2007

  • the wire holding in the cork in a bottle of champagne

    February 23, 2007