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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 classic literature ?
The orphreys were divided into panels representing scenes from the life of the Virgin, and the coronation of the Virgin was figured in coloured silks upon the hood.
This orphrey is richly decorated with silk embroidered floral motifs and massive amounts of gilded silver alloy threads, which were analysed by X-ray fluorescence.
One way that the Allegory distinguishes itself from previous representations celebrating the Virgin Mary is in the inscribed and historiated roundels decorating the embroidered orphrey on the mantle of the towering, approximately life-size frontal figure identifiable through the inscription on her conical tiara as Misericordia Domfini], the Lord's Mercy personified.
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.