Definitions

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

  • noun Pretentious, showy finery.
  • noun Pretentious elegance; ostentation.
  • noun Something trivial or nonessential.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Trade or traffic in old clothes.
  • noun A place where old clothes are sold.
  • noun Old clothes; cast-off garments; clothing discarded after wearing.
  • noun Hence Worthless or useless trifles; trumpery; gewgaws.
  • Trifling; frivolous; contemptible; trumpery.

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

  • noun obsolete Coast-off clothes.
  • noun Hence: Secondhand finery; cheap and tawdry decoration; affected elegance.
  • noun A place where old clothes are sold.
  • noun The trade or traffic in old clothes.
  • adjective Trifling; contemptible.

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

  • noun Ostentation, as in fancy clothing.
  • noun Useless things; trifles.
  • noun obsolete Cast-off clothes.
  • noun obsolete The trade or traffic in old clothes.
  • noun obsolete The place where old clothes are sold.
  • noun Hence: secondhand finery; cheap and tawdry decoration; affected elegance.

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

  • noun something of little value or significance

Etymologies

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

[French friperie, from Old French freperie, old clothes, from felpe, frepe, from Medieval Latin faluppa, worthless material, of unknown origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French friperie. From Old French fripier ("to rub up and down, to wear into rags"). Compare fripper.

Examples

  • Gloves, an Ell or two of Muslin or figured Lawn, and as a little of what you call frippery is very necessary towards looking like the rest of the world, Nabby would have me add, a few yard of Black or

    Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 1 May 1780

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • In San Francisco, Tim meets Jay, calls his frippery-based collection the equivalent of

    Queer Sighted

  • Ignore the insanely complex and expensive parallelogram-hinged door frippery, which is strictly concept; the car does provide some design clues.

    Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

  • Miss Roberts never could stand what she called 'frippery' in dress or hair style.

    Summer Term At St Clare's

  • Miss Roberts never could stand what she called 'frippery' in dress or hair style.

    Summer Term At St Clare's

Comments

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  • This can mean a lot, but I like it for describing someone or someone's manners/dress when writing.

    showy; gaudy; nonessential, trivial

    October 2, 2007

  • I've always thought of this as a noun, and not as a legitimate adjective.

    November 14, 2007

  • "WHEREAS For damage caused by lightning, earthquakes, floods, fire, frost or frippery of any sort, kind or condition, consequently the undersigned take responsibility."

    February 24, 2009

  • From OED:

    d. fig. Empty display, esp. in speech or literary composition; showy talk; ostentation.

    June 8, 2009