Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woman's triangular scarf of lightweight fabric, worn over the shoulders and crossed or tied in a loose knot at the breast.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small triangular piece of stuff; hence, any covering for the neck and shoulders forming part of a woman's dress, sometimes a small light covering, as of lace or muslin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A light cape, usually of lace, worn by women, to cover the neck and throat, and extending to the shoulders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A woman's lightweight triangular scarf worn over the shoulders and tied in front

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a lightweight triangular scarf worn by a woman

Etymologies

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

[French, from past participle of ficher, to fix, from Vulgar Latin *figicāre, from Latin fīgere; see dhīgw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French fichu.

Examples

  • To our friend both sky and sea were familiar companions; but the fichu was a new friend.

    In and out of Three Normady Inns

  • And uses a centuries-­old trick for a glancing smile at modesty called a "fichu."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Slender and graceful, she was clad in pale yellow, some filmy material that floated behind her in the slight breeze, with a matching fichu, and it struck him that she looked like a sunbeam herself, or certainly some bright, shiny creature that did not belong in the same world as the dark and desperate labyrinth he inhabited.

    Shameless

  • Slender and graceful, she was clad in pale yellow, some filmy material that floated behind her in the slight breeze, with a matching fichu, and it struck him that she looked like a sunbeam herself, or certainly some bright, shiny creature that did not belong in the same world as the dark and desperate labyrinth he inhabited.

    Shameless

  • Later on, the fichu did the same function and could also be considered an early form of dickey.

    Today's Pattern Story and Sale - A Dress A Day

  • Later on, the fichu did the same function and could also be considered an early form of dickey.

    Today's Pattern Story and Sale - A Dress A Day

  • He untied the fichu and got up as quietly as he could.

    THE TIME QUAKE

  • He untied the fichu and got up as quietly as he could.

    THE TIME QUAKE

  • He untied the fichu and got up as quietly as he could.

    THE TIME QUAKE

  • He untied the fichu and got up as quietly as he could.

    THE TIME QUAKE

Comments

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  • A fichu is a large, square kerchief worn by women in the 18th century to fill in the low neckline of a bodice. The fichu was generally of linen fabric and was folded diagonally into a triangle and tied, pinned, or tucked into the bodice in front. (see here)

    June 13, 2007

  • From "A Field of Snow on a Slope of the Rosenberg" by Guy Davenport.

    January 19, 2010

  • "One was very likely in a crotchet and a fichu. The other's a spinster of the sparse, sharp-nosed sort, all blue stockings and social causes."

    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, p 57

    July 5, 2010

  • She wore a fluttering white garden party dress—it looked as though it were made of spun sugar—lace gloves, lace hat, lace parasol which she twirledcoquettishly, and a lace fichu which she kept dropping to be retrieved by the pimpled gallants of St. Boniface.

    Patrick Dennis, Auntie Mame (New York: Broadway Books, 2001), p. 65 (orig. pub. 1955)

    June 1, 2016