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 (ôr′frē) also or·fray (-frā′)
n. pl. or·phreys also or·frays
1. A band of elaborate embroidery decorating the front of certain ecclesiastical vestments.
2. Elaborate embroidery, especially when made of gold.

[Middle English orfrey, alteration of orfreis, from Old French, from Medieval Latin aurifrigium : Latin aurum, gold + Latin Phrygius, Phrygian.]


(ˈɔːfrɪ) or less commonly


(Knitting & Sewing) a richly embroidered band or border, esp on an ecclesiastical vestment
[C13 orfreis, from Old French, from Late Latin aurifrisium, auriphrygium, from Latin aurum gold + Phrygius Phrygian]


(ˈɔr fri)

n., pl. -phreys.
1. an ornamental border, esp. on an ecclesiastical vestment.
2. rich or elaborate embroidery, esp. in gold.
3. a piece of richly embroidered material.
[1300–50; Middle English orfreis < Old French < Medieval Latin aurifrisium, aurifrigium, for Latin phrase aurum Phrygium gold embroidery, literally, Phrygian gold]
or′phreyed, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.orphrey - a richly embroidered edging on an ecclesiastical vestmentorphrey - a richly embroidered edging on an ecclesiastical vestment
edging - border consisting of anything placed on the edge to finish something (such as a fringe on clothing or on a rug)
vestment - gown (especially ceremonial garments) worn by the clergy
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References in periodicals archive ?
Likely to have been mounted on church vestments as orphrey panels, the richness of their original colour is still apparent: the figures are dressed in full, orange robes set against a deep, velvety blue background.
Raymond Hutchinson, had a beautiful set of festal vestments--cream satin with an orphrey of multi-coloured Victorian embroidery--which he always wore on special celebratory occasions.
Mrs Proctor said the oldest piece on display was an orphrey - an article worn by a priest - dating from 1500 and embroidered with an image of Christ surrounded by angels.